Statements from Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank
Updated: 04/10/2014 4:27 PM
Created: 04/10/2014 4:10 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste
A new University of Minnesota report is taking aim at big banks saying they discriminate based on race. The report says several companies are likely to turn down blacks for home mortgages.
Statement from Wells Fargo
"Wells Fargo has always been a leader in fair and responsible lending, and lending in all communities is a focus for our company. As a result, Wells Fargo is by far the largest mortgage lender in the Twin Cities; overall, in lending to borrowers representing all racial and ethnic groups, and in lending in diverse and minority communities.
We are dedicated to helping our customers achieve their financial goals through homeownership and we remain committed to making credit accessible to consumers.
Wells Fargo has always been a leader in implementing policies to ensure fair and responsible lending, and lending in all communities has always been a focus for our company.
Wells Fargo is by far the largest mortgage lender in the Twin Cities; overall, in lending to borrowers representing all racial and ethnic groups, and in lending in diverse and minority communities. Our market share in lending to minority borrowers and in minority communities is consistent with our overall market share.
In the 2009-2012 period, Wells Fargo originated more than twice as many loans overall than the second largest lender, as well as more than twice as many loans to African American borrowers, more than three times as many loans to Hispanic borrowers, and more than twice as many loans in predominantly minority neighborhoods.
In September 2012, we partnered with Minneapolis and St. Paul city leaders and local not-for-profit groups for NeighborhoodLIFT® , a unique program that provides down payment assistance, education, and access to potential homebuyers to purchase properties inside the city limits. The Twin Cities, our NeighborhoodLIFT commitment included $9 million for down payment assistance, locally designed programs to meet housing priorities, and local home buying education and support events. It also included a five-year mortgage lending goal of $1.9 billion.
We continue to support ongoing homebuyer education efforts; for example, this past Saturday we worked with the MN Homeownership Center to organize a homebuyer education workshop that was attended by 90 potential first-time homebuyers and featured presentations in English, Hmong and Spanish."
Statement from U.S. Bank
"U.S. Bank is committed to lending to all borrowers in all of the communities we serve, and we take our responsibility very seriously. In fact, U.S. Bank Home Mortgage has two loan programs -- American Dream and American Dream Rehabilitation Loans -- with features such as fixed interest rates, flexible qualifying guidelines targeted to low- and moderate-income borrowers and areas. We also act as the master servicer for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) and originate, purchase, and service MHFA Housing loans targeted to first-time homeowners and low- to moderate-income borrowers.
In all cases, borrowers are judged solely and consistently on financial criteria and not on race. Qualified borrowers are receiving loans.