By Matthew R. Lee
NEW YORK, January 22 – In a Sunday evening proposed merger announcement, recently challenged BNC Bancorp announced it wants to be acquired by Pinnacle Financial.
But BNC has a weak record, as shown by Fair Finance Watch, and has made compliance commitments it has withheld and, it seems, has yet to implement.
As reported by Inner City Press in October, the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data show that BNC's conventional home purchase lending to African Americans in the Charleston MSA has falling by over 80% from 2014 to 2015.
And in the Charleston MSA in 2014 for conventional home purchase loans, BNC made 173 such loans to whites and only SIX to African Americans, and none to Latinos. For refinance loans, it made 68 loans to whites and only ONE to an African American, while denying the applications of African Americans 3.94 times more frequently than those of whites.
In 2015, things got substantially worse. For conventional home purchase loans in the Charleston MSA in 2015, while BNC made 45 such loans to whites, it made only ONE to an African American (down from six in 2014).
So this will be challenged.
In the recent past the Winston-Salem Journal reported: "regulatory approval was delayed in part by two New York advocate groups challenging BNC's lending practices involving minority and underserved applicants in its markets. Inner City Press and affiliate Fair Finance Watch filed a protest with the Federal Reserve under the federal Community Reinvestment Act. It is a normal practice of those groups to challenge minority-lending practices when a significant bank purchase is announced. Fed officials asked for additional information Dec. 2. BNC responded and asked that its minority-lending data remain confidential. Rick Callicutt, the bank's chief executive and president, said in April that because BNC has surpassed $5 billion in total assets, it faces "a higher level of expectation to market more heavily to the underserved in its markets."
We'll have more on this.