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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding NationsBank and BankAmerica

Thursday, July 9, 1998

Transcript of Panel Two

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         6            MS. SMITH:  Any other questions?  Fine.  Thank

         7   you very much for coming today and we will go on to the

         8   next panel.  I might mention that this is a very large

         9   panel as you will see on the agenda, however, the time

        10   allocations have all been made to fit within a 50 minute

        11   period.

        12            Mr. Gamboa.

        13            MR. GAMBOA:  Yes, thank you.  Before I start, I

        14   want to also express my appreciation for you for holding

        15   these hearings.  And I have a procedural matter I'd like

        16   to raise before my timed testimony takes place.  I know

        17   from reading up about you that you are attempting to do

        18   the best job you can in making a determination on this

        19   bank merger.  And to do that job, I know you want to get

        20   as much fair testimony balanced as possible.  So I'm going

        21   to make a procedural request.  I'm not an attorney, so

        22   bear with me, please.

        23            And the procedural request is, since you're only

        24   having one hearing, that limits grassroots community

        25   organizations who don't have the resources to come here

        26   today to give testimony.  I think you should weigh that in
 .

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         1   when you hear from other organizations that are supported

         2   by Bank of America who pay their travel.  That will give

         3   you good information, the kind of information to give a

         4   balanced approach to make a decision.

         5            The other thing that's critical is information

         6   that you should use in determining this merger is there

         7   are numerous, I understand, outstanding discrimination

         8   complaints against NationsBank.  That information and

         9   those should be resolved and you should have that

        10   information before you make a determination.  I think that

        11   would be critical information for you in coming to a

        12   conclusion.  Or a decision.

        13            And, also, there is a CRA review being made now.

        14   I think that also will provide you with critical

        15   information.  I don't think any decision should be made

        16   until you're able to assess that CRA review of these

        17   financial institutions.  That kind of information I think

        18   would be extremely helpful for you to coming to a fair

        19   decision that I know you will come to.

        20            MS. SMITH:  Thank you for your comments and

        21   observations.  And then if we may go to your presentation.

        22            MR. GAMBOA:  Certainly.  I agree with Mr. McColl

        23   in one statement he made, that this hearing is not about a

        24   bank merger.  I think it's a little bit more than what he

        25   said than community investment.  I think it's about what

        26   kind of a country we want to be.  It's about a fair chance
 .

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         1   for the underserved community, the poor minority, recent

         2   immigrants to achieve the dream that most of us here today

         3   enjoy, the ownership of a home, and a safe neighborhood

         4   with good schools for the children, a chance for

         5   employment that provides a fair wage and health insurance

         6   for the family.  I think that's what we're discussing

         7   today.

         8            This dream is not being realized for far too many

         9   people, far too many people today.  We're involved right

        10   now in probably the most unprecedented booming economy

        11   ever in this country, and yet that economy is not being

        12   equally shared across this country.

        13            For instance, every day you see in the newspaper,

        14   you read the rich are getting richer and the poor are

        15   getting poorer.  This economy is not being balanced out

        16   and spread out evenly.  For instance, the national child

        17   poverty rate grew BY 26 percent from 1970 to 1997.  Entry

        18   level wages for male high school graduates fell 28 percent

        19   from 1973 to 1998 in real dollars.  80 percent of white

        20   families in this country own their own homes.  40 percent

        21   of minorities do.  71 million low-income children have no

        22   health insurance, yet most of their parents are working.

        23   In the richest nation ever in the history of the world,

        24   over one million children will not have an adequate meal

        25   the day before their parents are made.  You may ask what

        26   does this have to do with a bank merger?  I think it has
 .

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         1   everything to do with a bank merger.  In the first place,

         2   it's not a merger, it's an acquisition.

         3            You heard today Hugh McColl make a commitment of

         4   $350 billion, a CRA commitment.  Well, I can state that

         5   that commitment is hollow.  It's hollow because CRA,

         6   itself, has -- is weak.  CRA does not -- will allow

         7   financial institutions to receive outstanding ratings, and

         8   have before in the past, that have made zero, and I mean

         9   zero, not one loan to an African American family, that's

        10   what CRA can do.  And the reason that we have requested

        11   definitive commitments in that CRA commitment is because

        12   the track record of the financial institution is not good.

        13            For instance, you heard Hugh McColl speak about

        14   the millions of dollars.  I was impressed when I sat in

        15   that chair right there and when I heard him talk about

        16   these millions of dollars.  What you did not hear him

        17   speak about is the percentage of the billions of dollars

        18   they have.  That is much more meaningful.  We can get

        19   swayed when people talk about a million dollars because

        20   that's a lot of money to me and to most people in this

        21   room.  But it's not a lot of money when you look at the

        22   amount of money they have.

        23            For instance, less than one percent of the total

        24   dollar amount of NationsBank loans went to African

        25   American owned businesses.  Less than two percent of the

        26   total dollar amount of the NationsBank business loan went
 .

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         1   to African American owned businesses.  Less than two

         2   percent of the dollar amount of BofA's home lending

         3   dollars went to African American households.  And adjusted

         4   for differences in population, BofA has a similar report

         5   lending record among Latinos and Asian Americans.  And

         6   neither bank has goals for minority business contracts.

         7   That's the kind of record that this financial institution

         8   has.

         9            What we are asking them to do is not to do any

        10   precedent setting but to match the CRA commitments that

        11   other good financial institutions have done.  Wells Fargo,

        12   NationsBank -- Wells Fargo and WaMu, Home Savings, Union

        13   Bank, CoAmerica and others have all made specific

        14   commitments because they're not afraid to make those kind

        15   of commitments because they know they will meet them.  But

        16   NationsBank is the only large bank and Bank of America who

        17   have refused to make these commitments to our community.

        18   Why?  If they're sincere about making them, they should

        19   put them down and put it into the record.  I can only

        20   guess that they're not sincere about doing it.

        21            We have met with CEO of NationsBank and BofA a

        22   couple of times and they have said, "We're against

        23   quotas."  Well, our community is against quotas, too,

        24   because quotas have always frozen us out.  But every

        25   single business organization sets goals.  The commitments

        26   we're asking are goals, not quotas.  It's not any
 .

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         1   different than any part of the working business.  You set

         2   goals in sales, you set goals in marketing, you set goals

         3   in service.  We're telling them to set goals in the CRA,

         4   it's no different.

         5            Lastly, I'll conclude, Dave Coulter said that

         6   BofA was The Movie Bank.  I guess it should be something

         7   to be proud of, I wouldn't be.  I think what we're asking

         8   for Bank of America and NationsBank to be is a moving

         9   bank, moving to reach out to our communities, to make

        10   money by providing new services and products and doing

        11   good in our community.  It will be a win-win solution, a

        12   win for them, they'll receive income and profits, and

        13   certainly a win for our community, but they cannot do that

        14   without creating a work force that matches the diversity

        15   of the marketplace they want to reach.  Both banks have

        16   refused to provide us with the data of their top

        17   management.

        18            And one other thing, too, is that they talked

        19   about their charitable contributions and how they should

        20   get lots of credit for their charitable contributions.

        21   But if you look at their charitable contributions, they're

        22   doing about one-half of what the banks I have previously

        23   mentioned in percentages.  And if you look at their

        24   charitable contributions, I think the total for one of the

        25   banks was $77 million, it looks real impressive.  But when

        26   you look at the income of just a few, a handful of those
 .

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         1   executives who make those decisions, it was $88 million.

         2   That's not much of a charitable contribution.  Thank you.

         3            MR. FISHER:  Good morning.  I'm Alan Fisher from

         4   the California Reinvestment Committee.  We're a statewide

         5   coalition of more than 190 nonprofits and public agencies

         6   that advocate for increased access to banking for

         7   low-income communities and communities of color.  We've

         8   negotiated CRA agreements with all the major California

         9   financial institutions over the last decade.

        10            I was interested in listening to Mr. McColl talk

        11   about some of the fine things that the bank has done.

        12   Many of those things has come out of discussions with CRC

        13   members and other community organizations, Greenlining, et

        14   cetera, that has really moved the bank on.  And I think

        15   that's one of the worrisome things that I'll get to about

        16   the press release that talks about $350 billion.  That's

        17   preemptive of community discussion.

        18            You'll hear CRC members speak on this panel and

        19   other panels today representing their community and

        20   community development organization because CRA is about

        21   local neighborhoods, it's not about 22 states all at one

        22   shot, it's about what happens in particular neighborhoods.

        23   We have concerns about this, and clearly as you've heard

        24   today, the majority of the California Congress people on

        25   the Banking Committee, the L.A. City Council, the

        26   San Francisco Board of Supervisors and other elected
 .

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         1   officials have, as well.

         2            It worries us, not only because it's the sale of

         3   a great California bank, because from our point of view

         4   it's not a merger, it's an acquisition of Bank of America.

         5   But the loss of that headquarters to a bank that's

         6   headquartered 3,000 miles away and to a bank that has

         7   refused to make a specific CRA commitment to California

         8   and its diverse communities, therefore, we oppose this

         9   acquisition.

        10            More than 300 of our members and other California

        11   organizations and individuals joined with us writing in to

        12   the Federal Reserve calling for hearings and we are

        13   pleased that you are holding hearings in at least this one

        14   location of the 22 states.  But, again, we call on you to

        15   hold hearings throughout California and in the other

        16   states affected because CRA is about what happens in local

        17   communities.

        18            Anyone can see by the amount of response to this

        19   hearing that one hearing alone is tokenism.  We all know

        20   that a hearing itself is not the same as the sort of

        21   regulatory oversight that you'll have to have over these

        22   22 states.  So we hope that this one hearing is not a

        23   portent of the level of oversight that there will be.

        24            I'm going to try and just hit on a few specific

        25   points today and our letter will go into more detail.  I

        26   mean, our concerns are such that I could probably talk all
 .

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         1   day.

         2            I'm not a lawyer, either, I didn't know that John

         3   and Bob were going to raise this issue about people

         4   traveling here, but I have a somewhat different suggestion

         5   in terms of speakers.  I know you're going to hear a great

         6   many people.  In the interest of a clear record, I would

         7   recommend the following.  That if grantees of either bank

         8   testify against the merger, their testimony should be

         9   given a plus 2.  If grantees of either bank have been paid

        10   expenses to testify, they're testimony should receive a

        11   minus 2 and so forth.

        12            So, again, community reinvestment is about access

        13   to banking for neighborhoods.  It's about a bank

        14   affirmatively meeting the local needs of low-income people

        15   and people of color.  So we worry when NationsBank

        16   preemptively sums up 22 states in a three-page big dollar

        17   press release with nice phrases and little substance.  It

        18   presumes that they know better than the communities about

        19   what the needs are.

        20            We've met several times with the bank and would

        21   sum up the last meeting and the ones before as saying that

        22   they say no very nicely.  This is particularly worrisome

        23   because, as far as we're concerned, California came into

        24   this takeover with, one, a 1992 commitment letter from

        25   Richard Rosenberg, CEO of Bank of America, that was a very

        26   good specific commitment which is still in effect, as far
 .

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         1   as we're concerned, it has no ending date.

         2            Secondly, last year Bank of America upped its

         3   1992 goal to 140 billion of which the bank has stated that

         4   70 billion is for California communities.

         5            Thirdly, the commitment for $40 billion -- $40

         6   million, all these big numbers, 40 million dollars in 1998

         7   charitable contributions of which, from our calculations,

         8   roughly 25 million was for California and 25 percent for

         9   community economic development and housing development.

        10            Bank of America also, as you've heard, has made

        11   commitments around the economic development and rural

        12   initiatives that were just beginning to be defined and are

        13   still being defined.  There needs to be a specific CRA

        14   commitment by NationsBank to California that addresses the

        15   diverse needs of California's communities, retains the

        16   Community Development Bank with its mission to build a

        17   nonprofit infrastructure and not compete with it, gives

        18   clear dollar amounts and objectives for the economic

        19   development and rural initiatives, honors the written

        20   commitments and practices of BofA and targets those most

        21   in need.

        22            Your own studies cast doubt on the real value for

        23   sharholders and customers in such mega-mergers.  From the

        24   altitude of $570 billion in assets, will such a monolithic

        25   bank even see local neighborhoods?  Without a specific

        26   measurable commitment, NationsBank can ignore all but the
 .

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         1   most profitable customers.  Bigger is not better, as far

         2   as we're concerned, and less neighborhoods are affected.

         3   We think that this merger will -- this merger, acquisition

         4   will decrease competition.

         5            After all, this is a bank, as was said before,

         6   that has a worse record in 1996 making home loans to

         7   African Americans in its home state than Bank of America

         8   did in North Carolina.

         9            Every major bank merger in California has

        10   included a specific commitment since Richard Rosenberg's

        11   1992 letter.  BofA set a standard that NationsBank is

        12   undercutting and obliterating.

        13            If the Federal Reserve wants to maintain

        14   progress, it must condition any approval on a specific and

        15   enforcible commitment.  In addition, this bank has a

        16   concentration that is extremely worrisome from our point

        17   of view.  It has almost nine percent of the national

        18   market share but it's only in 22 states.  In those 22

        19   states, it has a one percent market share in almost every

        20   state, and we think that's of grave concern in terms of

        21   competition and access for those who are, quote,

        22   "unprofitable."

        23            So, again, thank you for the opportunity to

        24   speak.

        25            MR. BIVINS:  Good morning, my name is George

        26   Bivins, I'm the Chairman of the Black Association of
 .

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         1   Los Angeles.  We have over 850 African American business

         2   owners.  Many of those business owners are customers of

         3   the Bank of America.

         4            Take any statistics compiled by local, state or

         5   federal government regarding banking, including the many

         6   statistical reports compiled by independent surveys, and

         7   you will find African American -- African Americans are

         8   consistently benefiting less from banks, S&Ls and thrifts.

         9   Government regulators must take action to protect us.

        10            My colleagues and I would not be here today if

        11   Bank of America and NationsBank were good corporate

        12   citizens.  The Black Business Association shares the lack

        13   of confidence of this merger along with the National Black

        14   Business Council and the National Black Chambers of

        15   Commerce.  These three organizations nationwide represent

        16   over 75,000 black businesses nationwide.  We are prepared

        17   to prove that less than one percent of the dollar value of

        18   all business loans lent by these two banks went to African

        19   American businesses.  What we have here is a clear case of

        20   white wealth built on minorities' labor.  We have a clear

        21   case of white wealth built on minority labor.  Regulators

        22   hear are plea.

        23            The black community demands inclusion, inclusion

        24   leads to growth, exclusion leads to poverty for all our

        25   communities.  Regulators, hear our plea.

        26            Less than two percent of the Bank of America and
 .

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         1   NationsBank vendor contracts are awarded to African

         2   Americans.  Unlike its competitors of Wells Fargo, Union

         3   Bank and Sanwa Bank.

         4            I will give you an example, a clear example of

         5   this.  I am in the insurance business and I am the

         6   insurance agent for Sanwa Bank which is the fourth largest

         7   bank in this state.  Bank of America will not even give me

         8   an appointment to come in and present my product to them.

         9   I have tried for five years.  This is a personal

        10   experience that I can tell you.  And I'm a very good

        11   insurance agent, I've been in the business 26 years, I

        12   compete with the same insurance agents for business of

        13   Bank of America as I did with Sanwa Bank and I beat the

        14   price.  So what does this tell you?  I am just as

        15   qualified or even more qualified than some of the vendors

        16   that call on Bank of America, but they choose not to even

        17   give me an appointment.

        18            Inclusion leads to growth, exclusion leads to

        19   poverty.  Regulators, please hear our plea.

        20            They are willing to set goals of any kind.  They

        21   throw out large numbers such as $350 billion CRA

        22   commitment.  How do we monitor this?  Regulators, hear our

        23   plea.

        24            There are many pending race discrimination cases

        25   which were brought out earlier before the Justice

        26   Department.  While these cases are waiting to be heard,
 .

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         1   the large number of cases filed would suggest there is a

         2   definite problem with the validity of these cases.  Some

         3   of these cases must be valid.  Regulators, hear our plea.

         4            Bank of America lost millions of dollars overseas

         5   but were bailed out by the IMF but minorities can't get a

         6   small business loan.  Regulators, please hear our plea.

         7            Is this the outline of a good corporate citizen?

         8   This is how Bank of America and NationsBank represent

         9   themselves to you, but they can't fool us.  We have had

        10   the opportunity to deal with them on a firsthand basis.

        11   This merger brings capitalism to our communities but

        12   without capital.

        13            During the civil rights movement, we won

        14   everything we fought for but we don't have what we need.

        15   Regulators, please hear our plea.  Thank you very much.

        16            MS. ORR-SMITH:  Good morning, my name is Gayle

        17   Orr-Smith and I'm here representing the San Francisco

        18   chapter of National Association of Negro Business and

        19   Professional Women.

        20            My focus today would be to introduce to Bank of

        21   America some data about minority women in business.  And I

        22   offer this testimony and this information because of the

        23   dismal record that NationsBank and Bank of America have

        24   with providing loans to minority women business owners.

        25       Also, there's a caution in my remarks that, when you

        26   target women, you're targeting majority women, white
 .

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         1   women, non-minority women in their outreach for small

         2   business loans.  When you target minorities, you target

         3   minority women, as well.  Very often, that segment of the

         4   target group is really underrepresented and underfocused

         5   on as a target group.

         6            Bank of America and Nations have said they don't

         7   need specific goals.  But I think after hearing some of

         8   this data you might agree with me that there should be

         9   some targets for this particular segment.

        10            One in eight or 13 percent of nearly eight

        11   million women owned businesses in the United States is

        12   owned by a woman of color.  These 1.2 million minority

        13   owned firms employ 1.2 million people and generate nearly

        14   $200 billion in sales annually.  Over one-third or 37

        15   percent of minority owned business firms are owned by

        16   blacks, roughly 400,000 firms.  35 percent are owned by

        17   Hispanic women, roughly 380,000.  And 28 percent are owned

        18   by women of Asian, American Indian or Alaskan native

        19   heritage, 300,000 firms.

        20            Between 1987 and 1996, the number of minority

        21   owned women firms has increased about 153 percent.  It has

        22   increased by 206 percent among Hispanic women owned firms,

        23   by 138 percent among Asian and other women owned firms,

        24   and by 135 percent by black or African American women

        25   owned firms.

        26            Between 1987 and 1996, employment, that is jobs,
 .

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         1   within these firms, among all minority firms, has

         2   increased nearly fourfold or roughly 300 percent.  It has

         3   grown by 487 percent among Hispanic women owned firms, by

         4   319 percent among Asian and other Native American firms

         5   and by 70 percent among black women owned firms.

         6            Between 1987 and 1986, sales, that is revenues

         7   generated, by all minority women owned firms has increased

         8   fourfold as well, up to 318 percent.  It has jumped by 534

         9   percent among Hispanic women owned firms and by 430

        10   percent among Asian and others, and 55 percent among black

        11   women owned firms.  And it will be interesting to know the

        12   top ten states for minority businesses, based on the

        13   average ranking of the number of firms, employment and

        14   sales, are number one, guess, California.  Number two,

        15   Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland,

        16   New Jersey, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C.

        17            Now, just think what the bank could accomplish if

        18   it were targeting small business loans to minority

        19   business women.  This data is provided by the National

        20   Foundation of Women Business Owners in Washington, D.C.

        21   who extrapolate such data, and this data has been used by

        22   many corporations to market and target women owned

        23   businesses as a market group because their revenues and

        24   their sales and their growth demonstrates that they need

        25   this kind of attention.  And I think this would be a key

        26   opportunity for Bank of America and Nations to look at an
 .

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         1   entirely new market segment and recognize these women as

         2   contributing to the national economy.

         3            They say that their programs of goal setting

         4   doesn't need specifics, they say that their minimum goals

         5   and commitments are a floor.  Well, I tell you without a

         6   clear plan and strategy, a floor can quickly become a

         7   ceiling.  And if you're looking at local versus national,

         8   at least here in California we've had the benefit of

         9   working closely with BofA.  They've been able to listen

        10   and we can work with them.  There's still room for growth,

        11   but I don't know how much more effective they will be and

        12   how effective we'll be talking to North Carolina, so we

        13   think local is better.

        14            And without clear goals, many things can affect

        15   your commitment or the corporate commitment over time,

        16   there's erosion as a result of personnel changes.  How do

        17   we know that McColl and Coulter are going to stay at the

        18   helm and, in fact, their legacy or their commitment to

        19   minority outreach, as they stated, will, in fact, stay in

        20   place when personnel changes occur.

        21            And then a leadership philosophy is more than

        22   just words, it means that it has to be communicated

        23   throughout the organization and enforced and incentives

        24   provided within the corporation to ensure that all of the

        25   local affiliates and associates of the branch and of the

        26   bank adhere to the goals and standards that are set at the
 .

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         1   highest level.

         2            Targets and measurable data help us to know where

         3   we've been, where we're going and can focus us to be

         4   effective in targeting where the greatest need is and the

         5   greatest opportunity for economic gain by the banks,

         6   themselves.  We're seeking a win-win relationship and we

         7   believe that targets, established goals with clear

         8   strategies where minorities and others can work with the

         9   bank to achieve these goals will be the maximum benefit

        10   for everybody concerned.  Thank you.

        11            MS. ADAMS:  Members of the Federal Reserve, my

        12   name is Stella Addams and I'm the Executive Director of

        13   the North Carolina Fair Housing Center and I bring you

        14   greetings today on behalf of the people from the woods and

        15   the hoods of North Carolina.  Our state motto is to be

        16   rather than to seem.

        17            The people of North Carolina want to be

        18   homeowners.  The people of North Carolina want to be

        19   entrepreneurs and business owners.  The people of North

        20   Carolina want to be residents in safe and healthy

        21   neighborhoods.  The people of North Carolina want to

        22   reside in communities that are economically and socially

        23   integrated.  The people of North Carolina want to be

        24   catalysts for positive change in their communities.

        25            By contrast, NationsBank seems to be a leader in

        26   lending to minorities.  NationsBank seems to be a leader
 .

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         1   in lending to small minority business people.  NationsBank

         2   seems to be a leader in community reinvestment.

         3            But I can honestly say to you that Nations

         4   expansion west has reduced its commitment at home.  When

         5   NationsBank first merged with C&S/Sovran, it was the

         6   number one bank in North Carolina.  Now, it is the number

         7   five bank in our state.  It used to be the best bank in

         8   the neighborhood.  You ask any native tarheel whose slogan

         9   that was and they will readily tell you it was NCNB.  But

        10   now that it has a focus on being the best bank in the

        11   world, our neighborhoods in North Carolina have become

        12   insignificant.  We are worried about our future with this

        13   bank.  How long will it be profitable to remain

        14   headquartered in a state in which you are not competitive?

        15            Nations certainly shows no interest in obtaining

        16   greater market share in our state.  When we shared our

        17   concerns with them about their sixth place placement in

        18   small business lending in North Carolina, they had a sort

        19   of "What do you expect?  We're not the biggest bank in the

        20   state" attitude.  Well, when I share with their

        21   competitors where they're missing the mark, they have a

        22   "What can we do together to improve" attitude.

        23            NationsBank's commitment to community

        24   reinvestment is all smoke and mirrors.  This is easy to do

        25   when one has no set targets, no set goals.  Who then can

        26   question whether or not you have done enough?  Who then
 .

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         1   can say that you've accomplished anything long standing?

         2   I enter into the record a community needs assessment for

         3   North Carolina.  I expect you to do your job and analyze

         4   whether a demand based solution is sufficient to meet this

         5   need.

         6            I understand that Mr. McColl is a great military

         7   straegist and he has certainly carried out his campaign to

         8   become the first coast-to-coast bank with a determination

         9   and brilliance of Patton, or maybe it's closer to

        10   Sherman's march to the sea.

        11            He has developed a clear vision and a strategy

        12   and a strategic plan of action for every stage of this

        13   merger except one and that is the community investment

        14   program.  Instead of precision planning and targeting to

        15   get the biggest bang for the buck, he has opted for a

        16   scattershot approach.  And I know you all don't know much

        17   about shotguns out here.  But you're sure to hit something

        18   but you are not necessarily going to make an impact.

        19            We want a strategic plan of action.  We want

        20   quantifiable goals and objectives to meet the credit needs

        21   of our communities.  Here's to the land of the long leaf

        22   pine, the summer land where the sun doeth shine, where the

        23   wheat grows strong and the strong grow great, here's to

        24   down home, the old North State.

        25            The people of North Carolina helped its financial

        26   institutions grow great through our deposits, our loyalty
 .

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         1   and our visionary banking laws.  NationsBank is honor

         2   bound to serve the people of North Carolina and the other

         3   underserved communities throughout the franchise.  We are

         4   not unprofitable customers.  We ask only for access to

         5   capital and the opportunity to prosper and to grow strong.

         6   Thank you.

         7            MR. LUI:  Madam Chair and members of the panel,

         8   my name is Earl Lui, I'm a staff attorney with the west

         9   coast office of Consumers Union.  Consumers Union is the

        10   nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine and our

        11   magazine regularly writes on banking and other financial

        12   services issues.  Our office has also been involved in CRA

        13   activities for over ten year and was a founding member of

        14   the California Reinvestment Committee.

        15            Our basic concern or position is that the lack of

        16   specific commitments with this plan of acquisition and our

        17   belief that the Fed cannot accomplish its goal or mission

        18   of examining the convenience and needs of local

        19   communities without having those specific commitments in

        20   place.

        21            I disagree with what Mr. McColl said about the

        22   problems with creating goals.  As others have said

        23   already, having goals and targets is a part of any kind of

        24   business plan and it should be part of a CRA plan.  And

        25   without having those agreements and commitments in place,

        26   we don't see how the Fed can truly review the impact of
 .

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         1   this acquisition on the local communities in all these

         2   states in which you're looking at.

         3            And so because of the size of this merger and

         4   because of the mergers to come, your actions and decisions

         5   and any conditions you place on this acquisition will set

         6   a crucial precedent and will really help answer what I

         7   think is the critical question here, which is will the

         8   Federal Reserve take its role of protecting the public

         9   interests seriously or will it simply act as a rubber

        10   stamp for mergers, for this merger and all mergers to

        11   come?

        12            So as part of requiring specific commitments, I

        13   think that can be done in a number of ways.  And our

        14   written testimony has talked about them.  But one possible

        15   solution to that would be to hold up approval of any

        16   merger until this new bank reaches CRA commitments with

        17   the CRA groups and community groups in each state in which

        18   it does business.  We think, again, that more time will

        19   allow fruitful negotiations to take place and approval of

        20   this merger should not be rushed.

        21            I think another way to do that is to simply look

        22   at the existing CRA commitments that are out there.

        23   Particularly in Bank of America's case, as Alan Fisher of

        24   CRC has mentioned, Bank of America has a very specific and

        25   detailed CRA commitment.  And at the very least, the Fed

        26   and its staff should review every component of that
 .

                                                                    75


         1   commitment and question the bank's management about each

         2   and every part of it to see whether or not those parts are

         3   retained or not and should receive a definite commitment

         4   before deciding on approval of this acquisition.

         5            Other people have already focused a little bit on

         6   some of the lending and investment activities of these two

         7   banks.  I'm just going to focus briefly on some of the

         8   consumer issues that Consumers Union, in particular, are

         9   interested in.  Our interests has always been in

        10   increasing access to banking services for underserved, low

        11   and moderate and communities of color.  And again, in our

        12   observation, these acquisitions and mergers really haven't

        13   benefited those communities in which we're most concerned

        14   about.

        15            And again, there are several ways in which the

        16   Fed can put in some conditions and require some kind of

        17   commitments in all of these areas before any approval of

        18   this merger.  I think, at the very least, the board should

        19   require the new bank to make a commitment to serving

        20   low-income customers with affordable low cost banking

        21   services, savings accounts and checking accounts, for

        22   example, as well as access, of course,  to credit

        23   products.  But, as you know, with EFT99 and

        24   welfare-to-work initiatives, the access to banking

        25   services is even more important now than it has been

        26   before.
 .

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         1            And again, there should be some kind of

         2   commitment about the type of product, the type of account

         3   that EFT99 recipients will receive.  Obviously, that

         4   account should be a low cost account and should be

         5   administered through the bank and not through check

         6   cashier's or other expensive fringe banking institutions

         7   that are out there.  And again, no such commitments have

         8   yet been made by this new bank.

         9            With regard to mergers in general, again, we've

        10   seen that the supposed cost savings that the banks incur

        11   are not passed on to consumers.  And we ask that a portion

        12   of the cost savings in this acquisition be dedicated

        13   towards increasing access towards banking services for

        14   low- and moderate-income consumers.  We think a

        15   prohibition on new fees or increased fees on products

        16   should be instituted.  As the Fed's own study and other

        17   studies have indicated, fees tend to rise after these

        18   kinds of mergers and acquisitions.  And again, all those

        19   implications need to be looked at by the Fed.

        20            There's been no commitment towards branch

        21   closures, to retaining the Bank of America's branch

        22   closure policy, and no word at all about possibly opening

        23   more branches in underserved communities, and again, those

        24   are issues that need to be addressed before approval is

        25   granted.

        26            Finally, I'd like to raise another point which
 .

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         1   concerns the non-banking affiliates and subsidiaries of

         2   bank holding companies.  NationsBank, for example, has a

         3   finance company subsidiary, Nations Credit, as do a number

         4   of national banks, and Consumers Union is seriously

         5   concerned about some of the activities of these sub prime

         6   lenders and their involvement in lending activities that

         7   aren't beneficial to low-income people.

         8            We think it doesn't make sense for the Fed to

         9   regulate a bank that has a CRA commitment and then also

        10   ignore that same bank holding company's affiliates who

        11   basically engage in anti-CRA lending activities.  And that

        12   issue, I think, is an important one and needs to be

        13   addressed, again, because more and more banks are pursuing

        14   the sub prime market and are acquiring these types of

        15   predatory lenders.

        16            In closing, again, this acquisition sets a

        17   precedent, and I agree with the comments that were made

        18   before about the need to do it right and to have more

        19   hearings and to require specific commitments, and we urge

        20   you to seriously consider all our concerns.  Thank you.

        21            MS. SMITH:  Next.

        22            MR. SKILLERN:  I'm Peter Skillern, I'm Executive

        23   Director of the Durham Affordable Housing Coalition in

        24   Durham, North Carolina, and Chairman of the Community

        25   Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, and I

        26   appreciate being here today.
 .

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         1            Benjamin Franklin said, "Our critics are our

         2   friends because they point out our weaknesses so that we

         3   can improve ourselves."  And certainly NationsBank's

         4   friends have turned out in force today.  I also consider,

         5   actually, myself a friend of NationsBank.  I'm one of

         6   those organizations that Mr. McColl spoke of in helping to

         7   pay for some of our community service work.  But as

         8   friends, I still have a strong disagreement with

         9   NationsBank and have come here to express it to you and

        10   ask for a remedy.

        11            In 1993, NationsBank acquired First Chrysler and

        12   the Charlotte Observer ran an article, which I'll submit

        13   to the record, describing how NationsBank promised to

        14   clean up First Chrysler's lawsuits and also to make sure

        15   that NationsBank in the future would, quote, "follow sound

        16   lending policies and practices in full compliance with

        17   applicable laws and regulations."  The Federal Reserve in

        18   approving that acquisition agreed.

        19            And yet five years later, we still find instances

        20   of predatory lending practices.  We still find concerns

        21   about approving another merger which still does not

        22   address this important issue.

        23            I applaud the many good things that NationsBank

        24   has done in North Carolina from investments in CDFI's to

        25   their charitable contributions to the good loans that

        26   they've made.  And yet I cannot let go of the fact that
 .

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         1   while they're doing well, they're also doing harm.

         2            I submit to you a letter from Carlene McNolty,

         3   Attorney for the North Carolina Justice and Community

         4   Development Research Center who reviewed a 1996

         5   NationsCredit loan to Audrey and Kenneth Snipes.  And in

         6   it she finds that a number of law practices were violated.

         7   For example, Nationscredit failed to disclose loan terms,

         8   including that it was an adjustable rate mortgage.  It

         9   packed the loan with fees, including over $5,000 in

        10   settlement fees for a $110,000 loan, and thus charged

        11   usery rates under North Carolina law.  NationsCredit then

        12   flipped the loan by increasing the adjustable rate by two

        13   points in the first year and then explaining to them that

        14   they'd be glad to refinance at a fixed rate, but if they

        15   took their business elsewhere, there would be thousands of

        16   dollars in prepayment penalties.

        17            I introduce into the record the case of Beatrice

        18   M. Smith from Atlanta, Georgia who is currently in

        19   litigation with NationsBank over predatory lending

        20   practices.  In her case, the loan terms were not fully

        21   disclosed.  The loan was packed with high fees, including

        22   the sale of credit life insurance, and the loan was

        23   flipped six times in six years, once again starting with

        24   Chrysler First and the last two times with NationsCredit.

        25   The practices had not changed in the changing of the hands

        26   of who owned Chrysler first.  She's now fighting
 .

                                                                    80


         1   foreclosure by NationsCredit after rejecting an offer to

         2   stop a media story on the issue in exchange for having her

         3   loans forgiven.

         4            I enter into the record the case of Juanita Smith

         5   from Atlanta who was charged over $10,000 in credit

         6   insurance which was included in an $85,000 loan.

         7            I introduce into the record the concerns of a

         8   resident from Morrisville, North Carolina regarding the

         9   harassment of NationsCredit.  In his protest of this

        10   merger, Matthew Lee of Inner City Press does a good

        11   analysis of Equicredit's lending to minority households

        12   compared to NationsBank and Nations Mortgage.  Equicredit

        13   is now a subsidiary of NationsBank.  It, too, is a sub

        14   prime lender with high fees and high points.

        15            We question and ask how will NationsBank moving

        16   forward reach these two markets, the African American

        17   minority market and the majority white market fairly and

        18   how will it conduct the practices?  We request that the

        19   Federal Reserve investigate NationsCredit's lending

        20   practices and place conditions on the merger to ensure

        21   that these practices are ended and not expanded throughout

        22   the country.

        23            NationsCredit has grown large from it's

        24   acquisition of Chrysler First, it's now over $30 billion.

        25   And in addition, according to the Security Exchange

        26   Commission, NationsBank is a primary lender to Southland
 .

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         1   Associates, Commercial Credit Loans, Moreequity,

         2   Incorporated, and American General Finance among other sub

         3   prime lenders.

         4            The size of NationsBank before the merger makes

         5   it an important and dominant player in this parallel

         6   banking institutions and it cannot go unquestioned or

         7   unregulated by the Federal regulators.

         8            I am not yet impressed by Ken Louis' assurances

         9   to run NationsCredit right or not at all.  Certainly it

        10   hasn't taken five years to determine that changes need to

        11   be made.

        12            I'd like to highlight ten things that we

        13   recommend that NationsCredit can do.  And I'll submit them

        14   as part of the record.  But, in general, we want

        15   NationsCredit to offer A credit products as well as B and

        16   C credits, change the pay and incentive plan of

        17   NationsCredit's front line personnel, develop a standard

        18   pricing system for risk that provides a range of price

        19   over a continuum of risk, develop a loan review process to

        20   ensure loans are soundly, fairly and legally underwritten,

        21   contract for self-testing for fair housing and consumer

        22   protection violations, require the sub prime companies

        23   that are financed by NationsBank to meet similar industry

        24   standards, provide leadership in calling for legislative

        25   and regulatory reforms, have Hugh McColl demonstrate his

        26   commitment and leadership to cleaning up the practices and
 .

                                                                    82


         1   image of NationsCredit, provide HMDA data for

         2   NationsCredit as a separate lender for the public to

         3   better analyze its overall lending practices, and 10, make

         4   a good faith effort to review loans and make those whole

         5   who have been injured by these illegal loans.  Thank you.

         6            MS. SMITH:  Thank you.

         7            MR. WILLIAMS:  My name is Kevin Williams, I'm a

         8   member of the board of directors of the Greenlining

         9   Institute, also a professionally employed Human Rights

        10   Officer with the City and County of San Francisco Human

        11   Rights Commission.  And I am here to speak against the

        12   merger.

        13            This half trillion dollar merger is very

        14   reminiscent of the '50s and the '60s when the freedom

        15   fighters were getting off the bus, both black and white,

        16   and were being beat.  Those protestors had the right to

        17   assert the cause of freedom and justice for their people.

        18   And as the beatings were occurring, the F.B.I. were

        19   present standing back on the sidewalk taking notes.

        20            And that has been symbolically what the Federal

        21   Reserve Board has done, it has been federal, it has been

        22   reserved and we are bored with the diet of discrimination

        23   that we continue to endure year after year, hearing after

        24   hearing.  This is not a hearing, per se, it is a ceremony,

        25   we know that.  It's a ceremony because we know the merger

        26   is going to be approved.  The merger was approved, not
 .

                                                                    83


         1   here in this room, but on the golf course.  It was

         2   approved in some of the social halls where the elite meet,

         3   the deal was cut and we are here to say we know the gig is

         4   up.  We are watching because the diversity of the State of

         5   California is in the room, it's watching the decision that

         6   you're going to make.  We already know.  I don't proclaim

         7   to be a prophet, but I know the deal has already been cut.

         8   You've been cut in and we've been cut out.  We already

         9   know that.  We're here to say that time, our time, should

        10   be now.  At this time in history, we need some type of

        11   assurance that NationsBank and Bank of America will do

        12   what is right.

        13            You know, right after a meeting of the

        14   Greenlining Institute, I walked over to Hugh McColl and he

        15   shook my hand and he said, "You know, Mr. Williams, you

        16   have been critical of us but, you know, at 63 I can walk

        17   away from this a rich man."  I say to Hugh McColl, Kevin

        18   Williams is richer than both of you because I know the

        19   difference between right and wrong.

        20            MR. PEEK:  Good afternoon, my name is Ronald Peek

        21   and -- well, I'm hopefully going to speak loud enough for

        22   everybody.  I've come to you from Florida.

        23            MS. SMITH:  It is working.

        24            MR. PEEK:  I have come to you from Florida with

        25   the Concerned Citizens Political Action Committee and we

        26   advocate for the cause of black business development in
 .

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         1   the State of Florida.

         2            Before I start, I'd just like to ask you all to

         3   join us all in Florida in prayer, we're praying for rain.

         4   And so we'd appreciate your prayers in that regard.

         5            Thank you for the opportunity to testify

         6   regarding the concerns of Florida black businesses in

         7   terms of this merger application.  As NationsBank is the

         8   largest bank in the State of Florida, our experience with

         9   their lending policies to African American businesses in

        10   the State of Florida is important.  Florida is

        11   historically a state where CRA has yet to come into its

        12   own sovereignty.  It ranks in the last two percent of all

        13   states in terms of all CRA measurements.  No bank there is

        14   a clear leader in the shift that must occur to bring

        15   Florida into parody with at least the mode of the states

        16   of the union enjoy.

        17            This merger is significant as the largest to date

        18   in our country's history.  The recent purchase of Barnett

        19   Bank by NationsBank gave black businesses the opportunity

        20   to open dialogue with NationsBank.  This dialogue produced

        21   the issues which dictated a trip to San Francisco.

        22            The chairman of NationsBank has yet to take a

        23   leadership role in negotiations with us to develop a

        24   detailed lending commitment plan for the State of Florida

        25   concerning black business development.  His local manager

        26   for CRA in Florida said, "Take whatever they offer or
 .

                                                                    85


         1   leave it."  A classic monopolist's response.

         2            We would also beg the board to hold an additional

         3   hearing in the State of Florida and other states so

         4   affected -- those directly affected and unable to come

         5   here can voice their concerns to this audience without

         6   hardship.

         7            Chairman Greenspan has stated in his January,

         8   1998, Wall Street address along with President Clinton

         9   that access to capital for black businesses is important

        10   for overall growth and our general economy.  Chairman

        11   McColl has stated on many occasions in speeches that we

        12   all can find on the internet that access to capital is

        13   important to black business development.

        14            Our concern is that putting these statements into

        15   practice involve dedication of resources.  Without such

        16   dedication, there is no truth to commitment.  The

        17   infrastructure in place to deliver loans to African

        18   American businesses in Florida, the black business

        19   investment corporations has almost matched the total

        20   effort of all banks in that state in this regard.  It's a

        21   good model.  NationsBank has played some role in this

        22   delivery, though not the role of the vanguard or leader as

        23   it claims with intoxicating advertisement.

        24            We have evidentiary reports from the Small

        25   Business Administration that characterize loans made by

        26   all banks to black businesses in the State of Florida
 .

                                                                    86


         1   clearly indicating that NationsBank is a marginal

         2   participant in this market or clearly an institution

         3   following the status quo.

         4            For instance, in 1993, there were no loans SBA

         5   guaranteed to black small businesses.  In 1994, there were

         6   four loans.  In 1995, there were four loans.  In 1996, 18

         7   loans.  In 1997, seven loans.  In 1998, three loans.

         8   These are all fiscal years.  This information is all up to

         9   June 30th, 1998, from the Small Business Administration,

        10   which in the letter to Betsy Cross, the Assistant Director

        11   for the Division of Banking, Exhibit 3, Page 1,

        12   NationsBank claims that they are using the SBA criteria as

        13   a way to target minority businesses for loans.  So I

        14   thought that this was important.

        15            Out of a total of 470 loans since 1993, 36 loans

        16   were to black or African American businesses.  We don't

        17   know what NationsBank is doing anywhere else.  In Florida,

        18   it's very apparent that they have great strides to make to

        19   live up to promises in the claim of leadership efforts in

        20   truly understanding the African American business loan

        21   delivery service.  We would enjoy, as Chairman McColl

        22   says, net import capital coming into the black business

        23   economy.  Thank you.

        24            MS. MAR:  Good morning.  Can you hear me?  My

        25   name is Darlene Mar and I'm representing the Council of

        26   Asian American Business Association.  Today I ask about
 .

                                                                    87


         1   this merger and to look at who are the winners and who are

         2   the losers.  The winners are the shareholders because

         3   without -- and then we are -- the community are the

         4   losers.

         5            McColl says that we're passionate but, you know,

         6   you're passionate if it affects your livelihood, your

         7   associates, their livelihood and so on.

         8            Without a real commitment, without a plan,

         9   without targets of culpability, volunteering, then there

        10   is no real commitment at all, these are just numbers.

        11            The public should be entitled to the information,

        12   they're entitled, like shareholders stock reports and

        13   portfolios, why are not we entitled to data information?

        14   I believe that this is a bank for the people, am I not

        15   correct?

        16            To talk about CRA and they talk about lending

        17   things, like homes and loans to businesses and so on, but

        18   who benefits?  Who are the winner from that?  The banks.

        19   Don't they charge interest?

        20            You know, it's interesting some of the comments

        21   this morning.  Coulter said minority business development.

        22   How we're talking about vendor contracts.  And McColl said

        23   the same thing, how they were the leader in the national

        24   supplier of the Diversity Council.  So today I brought

        25   forward -- I had in my backpack the event sponsorship, and

        26   these are a big sponsorship, it's in alphabetical order
 .

                                                                    88


         1   starting from AT&T to the United States Postal Service and

         2   I cannot find NationsBank on here so I would like to

         3   submit that.  So if there's a doubt, then there should be

         4   some doubt in this merger and in some of the comments

         5   they're saying because they don't have documentation

         6   probably.

         7            Another thing about the contracts, okay, that's

         8   one way to get very small business loans.  Eugene

         9   (unintelligible) said that was a great part of CRA.  It

        10   wasn't until last year that the bank started to get

        11   involved, maybe because they knew there was going to be a

        12   merger and they wanted to look good, so to raise the

        13   market up and the shareholders are happy and again we're

        14   the loser.

        15            We'd like, as a community, to be also the winner,

        16   so they're talking about, like, the Hispanic community,

        17   the African American, but they did not mention the Asian

        18   community or, if they did, it was kind of like a

        19   (unintelligible).

        20            What they want from the Asian community is our

        21   market.  I like the statements and listened to the

        22   statements this morning.  We do not understand.  We don't

        23   understand what?  You know, about the merger or what's

        24   good for us?  They want flexibility.  Flexibility, what,

        25   to juggle their books around and the numbers?  They want

        26   this -- small business want to be global.  Excuse me?  I
 .

                                                                    89


         1   was a White House conference on small business delegate in

         2   1995 and they didn't contact us.  In fact, at that

         3   conference, the minority delegate caucus, they did not

         4   contact us or even sponsor the event in a big way.

         5            Then I address your question as you asked, they

         6   can't distinguish between a national nation bank and

         7   California.  They've already lumped it in their head it's

         8   going to be a national bank that takes care of people but

         9   these are not our (unintelligible) lords.  If there's a

        10   doubt in your mind at all, please stop the merger.

        11            To show good corporate responsibility -- in fact,

        12   corporate responsibility is interesting, that didn't come

        13   about until after the CRA.  We all know why the CRA

        14   assisted.  Maybe now we should have CRA Part II.  But like

        15   yesterday morning I was invited by WaMu to meet and greet

        16   the Asian business community.  Yet I got a phone call

        17   later that night and my name was submitted and there was

        18   a -- what do you call? -- focus group on how to market the

        19   community, and guess who that was paid for and sponsored

        20   by?  Bank of America.

        21            So it's not so much the testimony and these nice

        22   printed documents they're submitting but the action I wish

        23   you to look at and please listen to us.  Even though we

        24   are passionate, they're a reason why we're there, all

        25   right.  And as I sit on your side in areas, I've sat also

        26   on the Small Business Advisory Commission, the Small
 .

                                                                    90


         1   Business of Northern California, the Small Business

         2   Association, and I also listened to the speakers and I

         3   tried to look at the whole picture and tried to understand

         4   what's really going on.  Thank you very much.

         5            MR. THAO:  Toule Thao, I'm president of the

         6   (unintelligible) Association coming from Fresno,

         7   California.

         8            As I listened to the testimony this morning from

         9   Mr. Hugh Coulter and also David McColl, they decide a

        10   great achievement from both banks and unfortunately we

        11   still have major, major concerns.  The CRA commitment, for

        12   example, or the lending practice or the low-income housing

        13   for the poor and underserved community and inadequate

        14   services outreach to minority and the others served.

        15            Let me cite you a few example.  I travel

        16   throughout the nations serving as commissioner member

        17   appointed by U.S.D.A. Agricultural Secretary Dan Glickman

        18   (phonetic).  I listen to hundreds -- thousands --  not

        19   thousands -- several, several testimony from different

        20   groups, Asian, black, Hispanic, and in it some of the

        21   small farmers are dying and one of the reason is because

        22   they are not accessible to these banks.

        23            I also remember David mentioning great farming

        24   finance, et cetera, but let me share with you.  I live in

        25   the community and I don't believe that Mr. Hugh McColl and

        26   David Coulter serve the community because they surely
 .

                                                                    91


         1   don't see what we're struggling through.  We are just

         2   about to become the majority farmer of this country and

         3   yet zero, zero loan was made to a community like ours,

         4   Asian, Hispanic and black in our area.

         5            I'm here to say a couple more things.  I believe

         6   that Mr. McColl served as military officer during the war.

         7   99.9 percent of our people are war veterans.  If no one

         8   else understand our struggle, if you do not understand,

         9   you have good excuse.  But Mr. McColl should understand

        10   our struggle.  And that is the services provided is not

        11   sufficient, it will not be adequate for the minority and

        12   the underserved.

        13            I'm here to ask you that do not allow this merger

        14   to take place until clean, quantifiable plan is acceptable

        15   to this community and that this plan will benefit the poor

        16   and underserved community in this whole nation.  Thank you

        17   very much.

        18            MS. ABRAMS:  Good morning, my name is Leslie

        19   Abrams and I will be reading in a statement from Mr. Harry

        20   Alford, the President and CEO of the National Black

        21   Chamber of Commerce.

        22            Despite his objections to the Reserve's decision

        23   to hold hearings only in San Francisco, Mr. Alford would

        24   have liked to be here.  However, the 2,000 members of the

        25   National Black Chamber of Commerce are holding their

        26   annual convention in Maryland.  However, the convention
 .

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         1   will be submitting a resolution expressing its concerns

         2   about the merger to the Federal Reserve as early as

         3   Friday.  In fact, a large percentage of the organization's

         4   membership would have testified if hearings had been held

         5   in any of the other cities where NationsBank or Bank of

         6   America has branches.

         7            I will now read Mr. Alford's statement which is

         8   entitled National Black Chamber of Commerce Not Convinced

         9   About the NationsBank/Bank of America Merger.

        10            African Americans, as well as other minorities,

        11   have yet to obtain their fair share of the American

        12   economic enterprise.  One thing is quite certain, power

        13   will concede nothing without a demand and we cannot expect

        14   progress without certain standards and criteria being

        15   established.

        16            NationsBank wants to throw out a big number with

        17   no mechanisms in place to set the pace, to monitor

        18   compliance and ascertain what is good performance or fine

        19   corporate responsibility.  Thus, it is certain that the

        20   minority communities who are presently served by Bank of

        21   America will regress in community reinvestment.

        22            NationsBank should also answer for the serious

        23   amount of discrimination complaints from its work force.

        24   The lawsuit filed by NationsBank against the Office of

        25   Federal Contract Compliance (Department of Labor) to

        26   prevent an audit to investigate this mass of
 .

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         1   discrimination complaints is shocking.  Attorney General

         2   Janet Reno has also issued warnings to NationsBank about

         3   its performance and equal opportunity hiring.  Without

         4   proper checks and balances, there is no assurance that the

         5   performance previously displayed by Bank of America will

         6   endure and it will most likely not improve.  This is

         7   signed by Harry C. Alford, the President and CEO of the

         8   National Black Chamber of Commerce.

         9            MR. GAMBOA:  That concludes our panel one.  I

        10   want to express our thanks for your patience and

        11   tolerance.  We did go over a few minutes but you can

        12   understand many of these people have traveled thousands of

        13   miles on their own, and so I want to thank you for your

        14   tolerance.  There is one statement that needs to be made

        15   that should be part of the record.

        16            Hugh McColl and David Coulter should be part of

        17   the process required to hear from the community directly.

        18   This was so disrespectful for them to give their talk and

        19   then to walk out of the room and not be able to hear what

        20   the community feels about them.  And that should go on the

        21   record.  Thank you.

        22            MS. SMITH:  Again, I realize that there are a lot

        23   of witnesses who did not have a chance to present their

        24   oral remarks and I encourage you to submit your written

        25   statements for the record no later than next Friday but as

        26   soon as possible.  And we thank you for your participation
 .

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         1   today and look forward to receiving your comments.  Again,

         2   thank you and we'll move on to the next panel.

         3            We probably will cut into the break that we had

         4   scheduled for 10:35.  This next panel will go its alloted

         5   time and then we'll just compress the break a little so

         6   that we can -- we won't catch up but we will be closer to

         7   where we're supposed to be at this point.

         8            We have panel three ready to go.  If we can start

         9   on the right.
Last update: December 3, 2010