Two California advocacy groups have asked federal housing regulators to investigate Pasadena’s OneWest Bank over allegations that it discriminated against or failed to serve minority communities.
The allegations lodged with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development build on a multitude of earlier complaints against the bank. They come as former OneWest Chairman Steve Mnuchin is rumored to be a leading candidate for the post of U.S. Treasury secretary under President-elect Donald Trump. Mnuchin remains a board member of CIT Group, a New York financial services company that acquired OneWest last year.
The California Reinvestment Coalition, one of the groups that filed the complaint with HUD, had raised similar issues with bank regulators over the past two years while CIT was working to acquire OneWest — and as recently as this spring, when regulators reviewed and later approved the bank’s plans to serve minority and low-income communities.
“We have urged the bank to make changes to better serve communities, and they would not. We called on banking regulators to hold the bank accountable, and they did not,” said Kevin Stein, the coalition’s deputy director. “We considered next steps, and this is where we are.”
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