NCRC Releases Analysis of Bank Account Complaints

Washington, DC – Today, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition released an analysis of bank account complaints from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Complaint Database.

This analysis reveals that predominantly minority communities were more likely to submit complaints about poor service related to bank accounts than predominantly white communities. For example, predominantly African-American zip codes account for 5.9 percent of households, but accounted for 9.1 percent of the complaints to the CFPB. Poor service could deter consumers from seeking banking relationships and/or could be indicative of a reluctance on the part of some banks to offer bank accounts to traditionally underserved communities.

At the same time, the analysis reveals that upper income communities were more likely to submit complaints than lower income communities. Yet, minority communities, regardless of income level, were also more likely to submit complaints. The analysis also shows that minority communities were more likely to receive monetary relief as compensation for their complaints. However, the CFPB database does not indicate whether the relief was satisfactory to the consumer or whether the consumer continued a relationship with the bank. Finally, minority communities were also more likely than predominantly white communities to have their complaints unaddressed by banks, when comparing the percentage of complaints to the percentage of households.

“The disproportionately high rate of complaints to the CFPB from predominately minority communities may be suggestive of fair lending concerns,” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “We urge federal regulators to examine the complaint database closely for possible patterns of discrimination.”

To read the full analysis click here.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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