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Sunday, March 15, 2009

US black rights group sues banks for racist lending

The Daily Star

The NAACP African-American civil rights group on Friday filed lawsuits against US lending titan Wells Fargo and the US branch of Britain's HSBC, accusing them of "institutionalized racism."

"African-American homeowners who received subprime mortgage loans from these lenders were more than 30 percent more likely to be issued a higher rate loan than Caucasian borrowers with the same qualifications," the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) said in a statement.

The lawsuits were filed in California, the group said.

Wells Fargo was quick to respond, denying the allegations, which it called "totally unfounded and reckless."

"We have never tolerated, and will never tolerate, discrimination in any way, shape or form in any of our business practices, products or services," Wells Fargo said in a statement.

"We have been working with the NAACP for the past two years to develop a partnership that would benefit the NAACP, its constituents and our communities, so we are dismayed that the NAACP has chosen to abandon that constructive dialogue in order to pursue this litigation."



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