U.S. Bancorp (USB:US), the nation’s fifth- largest lender by deposits, is the target of a discrimination complaint from a nonprofit group that receives funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The National Fair Housing Alliance’s complaint to be filed with HUD is the result of “an undercover investigation” into how U.S. lenders maintain bank-owned properties in black and Latino neighborhoods, the group said in a statement. Cedric Ricks, a spokesman for the NFHA, declined to comment.
“We have not received a single detail on any of the properties in the complaint,” Tom Joyce, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, said in an e-mail. “When we do own a property, we have a strong and comprehensive process in place to regularly inspect and maintain properties to marketing standard where we have legal access, regardless of their location.”
Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC:US), the largest U.S. mortgage lender, is facing a U.S. probe over claims it neglects bank-owned homes in minority communities, a person briefed on the matter said last week. That case was also brought to HUD by the NFHA. The Obama administration has boosted scrutiny of banks to discourage loan discrimination after the housing bust led to record defaults.
U.S. Bancorp is scheduled to report first-quarter results (USB:US) tomorrow before the start of New York trading. The NFHA said it plans to hold a conference call about its U.S. Bancorp complaint tomorrow at noon New York time. Its investigation was supported by a HUD grant, the NFHA said.
Tiffany Thomas Smith, a spokeswoman for HUD, declined to comment.
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