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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding Banc One and First Chicago

Thursday, August 13, 1998

Transcript of Panel Nine

 
         19       MS. CANNON:  Good afternoon.  My name is
 
         20   Bessie Cannon and I am President of SEIU Local
 
         21   880.  I appreciate the opportunity to testify on
 
         22   Banc One's awful record throughout the Midwest.
 
         23            It is terribly unfortunate that the
 
         24   Federal Reserve is not holding hearings in more
 
 
 
 
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          1   than one city.
 
          2       REVEREND LONG:  Amen.
 
          3       MS. CANNON:  Millions of Americans cannot
 
          4   possibly be represented at one hearing to give
 
          5   input on a merger that will affect citizens from
 
          6   Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.  And if anyone has
 
          7   the resources to hold hearings in every city
 
          8   affected by this merger, it is the Federal
 
          9   Reserve.
 
         10            One thing is clear about both Banc One and
 
         11   First Chicago NBD.  They are first -- first of the
 
         12   worst!  In Denver, Detroit, and Milwaukee,
 
         13   minorities were rejected much more frequently than
 
         14   white applicants for every kind of housing loan
 
         15   that the bank makes.  Even more troubling, it
 
         16   appears that Banc One routinely steers minorities
 
         17   to more costly and inferior subprime loans.
 
         18            In Denver, Banc One received no
 
         19   applications from either African Americans or
 
         20   Latinos for conventional mortgages in 1996.  Not a
 
         21   single applicant in 1995.  In 1995, it took only
 
         22   six applications from either African Americans or
 
         23   Latinos.
 
         24            Moreover, there is not -- this is not
 
 
 
 
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          1   because Denver is a predominantly white city.
 
          2   Indeed, the majority of the residents of the city
 
          3   of Denver are now members of racial minorities, nor
 
          4   is it because the minority population of Denver is
 
          5   so poor that they can't afford to buy homes.  Over
 
          6   half of Denver's minority households are
 
          7   homeowners.
 
          8            The reason that Banc One gets no home
 
          9   loans applications from minorities in Denver is
 
         10   because Banc One doesn't market to minority
 
         11   communities.  Instead, Banc One pumps credit into
 
         12   the very whitest parts of Denver like it was
 
         13   water.
 
         14            In 1996, more than 40 percent of Banc
 
         15   One's mortgage loans were made to neighborhoods
 
         16   where more than 90 percent of the residents are
 
         17   white.  An additional 40 percent of the bank's
 
         18   loans went to the neighborhoods where whites made
 
         19   up between 70 and 90 percent of the population.
 
         20            Just two percent of the mortgages were
 
         21   made to neighborhoods where over half the
 
         22   population is nonwhite.  And since the data shows
 
         23   that the bank made no loans to Latinos or blacks
 
         24   that year, we know that two percent of the loans
 
 
 
 
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          1   that did go to our neighborhoods did not go to us.
 
          2            In Detroit, First Chicago NBD's
 
          3   performance is similar, but even more sinister,
 
          4   given the size of the African American population
 
          5   there.  Although the City of Detroit is over
 
          6   70 percent black, the entire Metro area is 22
 
          7   percent black.
 
          8            In 1996, NBD took only two percent of its
 
          9   applications from blacks.  The bank took 93 percent
 
         10   of applications from whites.  In real terms, this
 
         11   means that African Americans are 11 times more
 
         12   likely to reside in Detroit than First Chicago
 
         13   NBD's applicant pool.
 
         14            While there was fewer applications from
 
         15   minorities, the few that did apply were rejected
 
         16   more frequently than white applicants.  African
 
         17   Americans were rejected nearly 40 percent more
 
         18   frequently.
 
         19            Incredibly, this disparity widens for the
 
         20   wealthiest minority applicants.  Upper-income
 
         21   African Americans were rejected twice as frequently
 
         22   as upper-income white applicants.
 
         23            In Milwaukee, Banc One has aggressively
 
         24   pushed its home improvement lending and refinanced
 
 
 
 
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          1   loans while ignoring conventional mortgages.  But
 
          2   with Banc One, we find that no matter what type of
 
          3   home loan we look at, the pattern is the same;
 
          4   African American applicants are rejected many times
 
          5   more frequently than whites.  African Americans
 
          6   were rejected three times more frequently than
 
          7   white applicants for refinance and home improvement
 
          8   loans in 1996.
 
          9            Last time I looked, racial discrimination
 
         10   is still against the law in our country.  And when
 
         11   a multi-million dollar bank like Banc One breaks
 
         12   the law and denies people access to credit on the
 
         13   basis of their skin color, they should be punished,
 
         14   not rewarded.  It is time for the Federal Reserve
 
         15   Board to punish Banc One.  It is time for the
 
         16   Federal Reserve to just say no.  Thank you.
 
         17       MS. SMITH:  Thank you very much.
 
         18   Reverend Long?
 
         19       REVEREND LONG:  I bring you greetings from the
 
         20   near east side of Indianapolis where I pastor a
 
         21   congregation and also serve as board member for the
 
         22   Near East Side Community Organization.
 
         23            I've been asked by the Board President,
 
         24   who could not come today, to speak as the official
 
 
 
 
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          1   representative of the Near East Side Community
 
          2   Organization and also a copartner with the
 
          3   Organization for a New East Side and to say to the
 
          4   Federal Reserve Board:  Please listen to us.
 
          5            Listen to the fact that over 50 percent of
 
          6   our populant folks are neighbors who live in and
 
          7   around the Banc One branch that was closed in a
 
          8   rather cold-hearted way in the midst of the
 
          9   winter.
 
         10            They have affected us -- excuse me.  They
 
         11   have affected us quite negatively.  They have cared
 
         12   little for listening to us.  And so we come here
 
         13   asking that this not be the last time that you hear
 
         14   folks from Indianapolis, that rather than Chicago,
 
         15   that you come to Indianapolis, preferably, send
 
         16   whatever faction you need to the East Side, since
 
         17   our residents are too poor to make this journey.
 
         18   They cannot afford to.
 
         19            So I come speaking on behalf and along
 
         20   with my brothers and sisters of the East Side
 
         21   saying Banc One has been a horrible neighbor to
 
         22   us.  I don't need to quote you all the raw data.
 
         23   You all have that.  I trust that your education
 
         24   lets you glean that for yourself and understand
 
 
 
 
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          1   what bad business partners Banc One and NBD are.
 
          2            I want to share with you an example of how
 
          3   that has lived out in the Near East Side.  The
 
          4   Woodriff Place Branch on 10th Street, which is a
 
          5   major corridor for the Near East Side, we were
 
          6   notified was closing, not might close, would close
 
          7   because it was no longer a money-making, profitable
 
          8   branch.
 
          9            They were a self-fulfilling prophecy, as
 
         10   we say in the church business, because they made
 
         11   sure it was not profitable by cutting business
 
         12   services right and left, cutting personnel
 
         13   services, and as their records shows to us
 
         14   constantly, they are not making adequate small
 
         15   business loans or adequate home mortgage loans
 
         16   available in our census tracts.  They have all our
 
         17   money.
 
         18            I am a Banc One client, have been in the
 
         19   two years I've been in Indianapolis, because they
 
         20   have such an overwhelming majority that trying to
 
         21   get to another branch to adequately access services
 
         22   is virtually impossible because they've run
 
         23   everybody out of town.
 
         24            If this merger goes through, we fear the
 
 
 
 
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          1   real loss of the NBD branch that is in the Near
 
          2   East Side.  In spite of feigned attempts by
 
          3   Banc One/NBD to say that they are going to ask the
 
          4   Department of Justice to exempt that branch from
 
          5   divestiture, we believe them as far as we can throw
 
          6   them.  And since we can't throw them, we don't
 
          7   believe them.
 
          8            They have lied to us time and again.  They
 
          9   told us that they were going to work with us in
 
         10   trying to find an alternative way to use that
 
         11   branch that would best serve the neighborhood.  And
 
         12   that simply meant they weren't going to allow it to
 
         13   be a pawn shop or a check-cashing organization.
 
         14            You know, there are other distracting
 
         15   factors to our neighborhood besides pawn shops,
 
         16   bars, and check-cashing organizations.  We try and
 
         17   sit down with them in good faith negotiations.
 
         18            According to their response to you all
 
         19   from the Near East Side Community Organization's
 
         20   letter asking for denial of this merger, what they
 
         21   have in paper isn't, in fact, what they did.  It is
 
         22   not what they said to us.  It is not how they
 
         23   treated us.
 
         24            There again, they have the money.  They
 
 
 
 
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          1   have the attorneys.  They can write it to make it
 
          2   sound just exactly like they hope you will want to
 
          3   hear.  They don't want you to hear the truth.  They
 
          4   don't want you to hear us say they did not
 
          5   negotiate in good faith with us.
 
          6            They told us that the branch would be
 
          7   donated to the Near East Side Community Development
 
          8   Credit Union.  And they gave us first one month to
 
          9   make that a reality.  You cannot transact that kind
 
         10   of business in four weeks' time.  They then backed
 
         11   it up.  We won a small victory.
 
         12            They said they would give us three
 
         13   months.  And by the time that that three months was
 
         14   up, we had already found out that they had sold the
 
         15   building to the holding company that is purchasing
 
         16   property around Indianapolis for CBS Drugstore.
 
         17            The drugstore is not what's going in
 
         18   there.  We have found out, through East Side
 
         19   Community Development Corporation that, in fact,
 
         20   they are in high-level negotiations with another
 
         21   credit union to go in place in that branch.  But
 
         22   quite frankly, we don't know what that will be
 
         23   either, nor how it will be a detracting factor to
 
         24   our small community development credit union.
 
 
 
 
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          1            They've been poor partners.  They always
 
          2   tell us that the ultimate answer has to come from
 
          3   Columbus.  When we ask who that is, they tell us
 
          4   too bad, so sad, you lose.  We won't tell you.  You
 
          5   only get to talk to us.  That is not good faith.
 
          6   Thank you.
 
          7       MS. SMITH:  Thank you.  Ms. Rice?
 
          8       MS. RICE:  Good morning -- I'm sorry, good
 
          9   afternoon.  My name is Bobby Rice.  I'm from
 
         10   Dallas, Texas and I am here to speak about the
 
         11   problems we are all having in Dallas, Texas.
 
         12            I am from a low- and moderate-income area
 
         13   in Dallas, Texas.  I am against Banc One merging
 
         14   because of my own experiences with Banc One and
 
         15   because of stories that I have heard from others
 
         16   about their treatment by the bank.
 
         17            Banc One is not a bank that does a very
 
         18   good job servicing people in my community.  Some
 
         19   people in my community have a difficult time
 
         20   understanding the complex banking fee structure and
 
         21   no one takes the time to explain the fee to them
 
         22   until it is too late or they're just rude to us,
 
         23   insensitive, and in some cases, they are racist.
 
         24            For example, there's a man that lives in
 
 
 
 
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          1   Dallas, Texas by the name of Ogan Defreeze.
 
          2   Mr. Defreeze is an -- I'm sorry, African American
 
          3   senior citizen living on a fixed income of about
 
          4   $500 a month.  He has been a Banc One customer for
 
          5   many years.  He even banked at the same bank before
 
          6   it got its name changed to Banc One.
 
          7            He always went in to use the teller
 
          8   because that is what he had always done.  The only
 
          9   problem was that Banc One decided to charge people
 
         10   two dollars to use a teller.  Now, two dollars may
 
         11   not sound a lot to you all or some people, but as
 
         12   low-income people, we have to think of our budget
 
         13   and not waste our money.
 
         14            Now, Mr. Defreeze wrote checks to pay
 
         15   bills, all money he thought he had, but because of
 
         16   the fee, he bounced checks and had to pay bounced
 
         17   check fees.  He estimated that Banc One took almost
 
         18   $200 from him in bouncing check fees before someone
 
         19   explained about the teller fee.  $200 is nearly
 
         20   half of his monthly income.
 
         21            Banc One also lost a $10 deposit of
 
         22   Mr. Defreeze's.  Then they found it.  Banc One
 
         23   found the $10 deposit.  You know what they done?
 
         24   They refused to refund a bounced check fee that
 
 
 
 
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          1   occurred due to their mistake, which is Banc One.
 
          2            I have had a similar experience myself.  I
 
          3   have a saving account at Banc One.  The reason I
 
          4   have a saving account is exactly -- I have a saving
 
          5   account at Banc One.  And the reason why I'm having
 
          6   the account is because I need to save my money.  I
 
          7   am also on a fixed income.  I am supporting my
 
          8   grandchildren by adopting them and I must save as
 
          9   much as I can.
 
         10            However, Banc One charged me ten dollars
 
         11   per month to maintain my account.  That's not
 
         12   fair.  The only way the service charge is forgiven
 
         13   is if I maintain -- maintain a $1,500 balance at
 
         14   all time.  If I cannot possible afford to keep this
 
         15   amount, then why must I pay this outrageous sum of
 
         16   money per month?
 
         17            I am penalized just for being poor.  I
 
         18   used to have a checking account also with Banc One,
 
         19   but I found it is impossible to balance my book
 
         20   accordingly to the statement.  Many time there were
 
         21   mistakes on the statement, but the bank never took
 
         22   credit for them.  I don't know how they do this,
 
         23   but somehow or another the statement will win, not
 
         24   correct, win.  It's no way that you can prove it
 
 
 
 
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          1   the way they do the statement.
 
          2            I would have certain of my drafting twice
 
          3   monthly instead of once.  So what Banc One does, I
 
          4   wanted Banc One only to draft one check per month,
 
          5   but nothing were ever done because they drafted
 
          6   twice.  When they drafted twice on my account, that
 
          7   made three of my bank -- three of my check bounce.
 
          8   Because as a low income person, I only have certain
 
          9   time -- I mean, a certain amount of money to
 
         10   spend.
 
         11            Many time there was mistakes on the
 
         12   statement, but the bank never took credit for
 
         13   them.  I would have certain amount of draft -- of
 
         14   twice instead of one, but nothing was ever done to
 
         15   make these correction to my account.
 
         16            Oftentime because mine was drafted more
 
         17   than once or my deposit was not added to my account
 
         18   when they was supposed to, my check will bounce.
 
         19   Rather than the bank pick up the charge for their
 
         20   mistake, I would have to pay the overdraft fee of
 
         21   25 per check.  That's not fair.
 
         22            I try calling several time to speak to
 
         23   someone in a management position, but I was not
 
         24   able to speak to the person or I also left a
 
 
 
 
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          1   message and no one called me back.  The Soria
 
          2   family had similar problems with Banc One and their
 
          3   account.
 
          4       MS. SMITH:  Ms. Rice, we'll be glad to enter
 
          5   the remainder of your statement into the record.
 
          6   If you'd like to take half a minute to bring it to
 
          7   conclusion.
 
          8       MS. RICE:  Oh, I'm sorry.  I got off into it.
 
          9   I just got off into it.  I told them it was like
 
         10   I'm -- okay.  Only thing -- I thought you said I
 
         11   had three minutes.
 
         12       MS. SMITH:  No.  30 seconds, half a minute.
 
         13       MS. RICE:  Half a minute, okay.
 
         14            Only thing I want to comment on Banc One,
 
         15   that they should realize that there are low income
 
         16   people as well as people that has money.  We also
 
         17   would like to buy a boat and a Cadillac too, but we
 
         18   cannot.  So help us too.
 
         19       MS. SMITH:  Thank you very much.
 
         20       MR. SIMS:  Good afternoon.  My name is Reverend
 
         21   Wesley Simms, and I'm from Dallas, Texas.
 
         22            We're opposed to the merger of Banc One/
 
         23   First Chicago, and I'm here to testify to Banc
 
         24   One's service in low income and minority
 
 
 
 
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          1   communities and consumers.
 
          2            In general, Banc One under serves and red
 
          3   lines minority neighborhoods and rejects African
 
          4   Americans and Latinos.
 
          5            Banc One's performance in Dallas lagged
 
          6   significantly behind the market averages.  First,
 
          7   in Dallas, African Americans were rejected for home
 
          8   purchase loans nearly three times as frequently as
 
          9   white applicants in 1996.  This rate is higher than
 
         10   the market average of conventional home lenders
 
         11   rejecting African Americans at twice a rate of
 
         12   white applicants.
 
         13            Even African Americans above 120 percent
 
         14   of the median income were rejected more than two
 
         15   and a half times as frequently as whites of similar
 
         16   incomes.  In fact, the African American were
 
         17   rejected at rates double than that of moderate
 
         18   income and white applicants, 35 and 17 percent
 
         19   respectively.
 
         20            In Dallas, Latinos receive comparable
 
         21   treatment at the Banc One offices.  Latinos were
 
         22   rejected more than twice as frequently as white
 
         23   applicants for conventional mortgages in 1996.  And
 
         24   this rate, again, is higher than the market average
 
 
 
 
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          1   rejection rate of 1.78 for all Dallas lenders.
 
          2            Upper-income Latinos were also rejected
 
          3   twice as frequently as upper-income white
 
          4   applicants.
 
          5            A similar pattern is found in Houston
 
          6   where the African Americans and Latinos are
 
          7   rejected much more frequently than white
 
          8   applicants.  African Americans were rejected more
 
          9   than three and a half times as frequently as whites
 
         10   in 1996, up slightly from the 1995 of just shy of
 
         11   three and a half.
 
         12            This figure is more than double the market
 
         13   average of African Americans being rejected, more
 
         14   than one and a half times as frequently as white.
 
         15            Incredibly, the rejection rates for
 
         16   upper-income African Americans is nearly triple
 
         17   that of moderate income white applicants, 29 and 11
 
         18   percent respectively.
 
         19            The picture was no brighter for Houston
 
         20   Latinos.  Latinos was rejected nearly twice as
 
         21   frequently as white applicants in 1996.  This
 
         22   figure is also an increase from the one and a half
 
         23   times Latinos were rejected in comparison to white
 
         24   applicants in 1995.
 
 
 
 
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          1            Again, the ratio is measurably higher than
 
          2   the market average, where Latinos were rejected 27
 
          3   percent more frequently than whites.  Upper-income
 
          4   Latinos were rejected nearly twice as frequently as
 
          5   moderate-income white applicants.
 
          6            These figures are appalling.  If the
 
          7   stories from Dallas consumers are any guide, these
 
          8   numbers may be understating the problem.
 
          9   Minorities in Texas don't have a chance at Banc One
 
         10   lenders' office.
 
         11            Meanwhile, many neighborhoods are in
 
         12   desperate need of access to credit and new
 
         13   homeowners.  It is unlikely that they will find it
 
         14   at Banc One.  ACORN has discovered that Banc One is
 
         15   most likely to lend to the whitest and wealthiest
 
         16   neighborhoods in Houston and in Dallas.
 
         17            In Dallas, 23 percent of the nearly 400
 
         18   conventional mortgage loans Banc One made in 1996
 
         19   went to census tracts where whites made up more
 
         20   than 90 percent of the population.  Only 11 percent
 
         21   went to census tracts where minorities made up the
 
         22   majority of the population.  A mere 4 percent of
 
         23   those originations went to census tracts below
 
         24   50 percent of the area median income.  88 percent
 
 
 
 
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          1   of those low-income tracts received no loans at
 
          2   all.
 
          3            In Houston, the pattern was, if anything,
 
          4   more troubling.  45 percent of Banc One's more than
 
          5   700 conventional loans went to census tracts where
 
          6   whites made up more than 80 percent of the
 
          7   population.  Only 13 percent of the loans went to
 
          8   census tracts where minorities made up the majority
 
          9   of the population.  Less than half of those went to
 
         10   the census tracts where minorities made up more
 
         11   than 75 percent of the population.  A mere 2
 
         12   percent of the conventional mortgages went to
 
         13   census tracts where a household income was below
 
         14   50 percent of the area median.  Of the 117
 
         15   low-income census tracts in Houston, 86 percent
 
         16   received no conventional mortgages.
 
         17            Taken together, these two facts show a
 
         18   dual pattern of rejection of Banc One in Texas.
 
         19   Minority individuals are frequently turned down for
 
         20   loans at Banc One, more frequently than their white
 
         21   counterparts.  Low income and minorities
 
         22   neighborhoods are likewise unserved by Banc One.
 
         23   The road to home ownership is essential to build
 
         24   wealth of families and to shore up neighborhoods
 
 
 
 
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          1   and communities.  Homeowners build equity in their
 
          2   families and their neighborhoods benefit.  With
 
          3   inadequate access to fair credit, these
 
          4   neighborhoods and families suffer unduly.  Banc One
 
          5   is a contributor to this unfairness.
 
          6            ACORN has tried to get commitments from
 
          7   Banc One to turn these problems around.  ACORN met
 
          8   with Banc One with the help of our Congresswoman
 
          9   Eddie Bernice Johnson.  I was at that hearing.  And
 
         10   I asked weren't they concerned that so few loans
 
         11   went to African Americans.  They kept changing the
 
         12   subject talking about other lending like credit
 
         13   card lending and personal loans.  Well, getting
 
         14   people in debt is not the same thing as helping
 
         15   people to become homeowners.  We need more
 
         16   homeowners in our neighborhoods.
 
         17            The banker at the meeting also kept
 
         18   talking about the loans they do with affordable
 
         19   housing groups.  We heard some of that here this
 
         20   morning.  That's great, but ACORN is a group that's
 
         21   concerned about what happens to the ordinary
 
         22   everyday person who walks into the bank.  With Banc
 
         23   One, they seem not to make very many loans to make
 
         24   people homeowners.
 
 
 
 
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          1            At the meeting, we asked -- just one
 
          2   thing -- that Banc One do one of two things.
 
          3   Either make a commitment matching the commitments
 
          4   in Detroit and Chicago as to how much they will
 
          5   lend to minority and low- to moderate-income
 
          6   neighborhoods or tell what program they would use
 
          7   to do a better job of lending to minorities.  They
 
          8   did not make either commitment.
 
          9            The Federal Reserve should take this
 
         10   opportunity to address this inadequate record and
 
         11   reject the proposed merger without practical and
 
         12   workable changes in Banc One's operation.  I thank
 
         13   you very much.
 
         14       MS. SMITH:  I do think you have the record
 
         15   today for how fast you speak.
 
         16       MR. RICE:  They gave us a book to read, and now
 
         17   they said read it in four minutes.  No way.
 
         18       MS. SMITH:  Mr. Taylor.
 
         19       MR. TAYLOR:  Good afternoon.  My name is James
 
         20   Taylor.
 
         21       MS. SMITH:  Would you use the mic, please?
 
         22       MR. TAYLOR:  Is that better?  Good afternoon.
 
         23            First give an honor to the great creator.
 
         24   My name is James Taylor.  I'm a community organizer
 
 
 
 
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          1   for the organization for a New East Side.
 
          2            Our organization opposes the merger of
 
          3   these banks unless there are clear and definite
 
          4   commitments to lending, investments, employment,
 
          5   services and procurement of services for low and
 
          6   middle income Indiana residents, senior citizens,
 
          7   handicapped, those on fixed incomes and Indiana
 
          8   residents of color.
 
          9            Mega mergers often have a harmful effect
 
         10   on communities, but this merger would create an
 
         11   unprecedented mega bank in Indianapolis, banking
 
         12   service monopoly that's going to decrease
 
         13   competition.
 
         14            In the last several years, branches have
 
         15   closed and fees have gone up for most of us.
 
         16   First-time home buyers have decreased lending, as
 
         17   we've heard before, especially after mergers.
 
         18            Some of the harmful effects of mega
 
         19   mergers, -- and I'll just be brief and give other
 
         20   folks a chance to speak, too -- the creation of
 
         21   these large banks, if it doesn't create a monopoly,
 
         22   it definitely diminishes competition.  And from
 
         23   what I understand, competition is good for
 
         24   consumers because true competition gives us the
 
 
 
 
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          1   best services at the lowest rate.
 
          2            Branches close.  That adds to the
 
          3   instability in any neighborhood when a financial
 
          4   institution like a bank leaves.  And there are too
 
          5   many institutions, financial institutions, in
 
          6   communities like banks.  Higher fees affect all of
 
          7   us, low to moderate income, moderate to high
 
          8   income.  Some can afford that better than others,
 
          9   as you can see.
 
         10            What happens if these mega mergers fail?
 
         11   I don't want to wish anything bad on Banc One, NBD
 
         12   or anything else, but if my memory serves me
 
         13   correctly, the American public has paid 800 billion
 
         14   dollars to bail out a savings and loan fiasco that
 
         15   wasn't insured as well.
 
         16            This addresses the safety and soundness
 
         17   and stability of banking services in Indiana and in
 
         18   Indianapolis.  And even though Indianapolis is the
 
         19   capital, the city that appears from the data we've
 
         20   looked at that will be most affected will be
 
         21   Lafayette, where Banc One will have a 56 market
 
         22   share.  And I may be a little over on that, so, you
 
         23   know, that stands to be corrected.
 
         24            Special devastation to the low and
 
 
 
 
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          1   moderate income communities.  Most of the folks in
 
          2   our communities -- when I speak of low to moderate
 
          3   income, that's 40 percent of the American public,
 
          4   too, if my numbers are right.  But in these lower
 
          5   income communities and these low to moderate income
 
          6   communities, transportation is limited to go the
 
          7   distance to the nearest bank -- the nearest bank as
 
          8   these other branches close.
 
          9            Limited financial resources are eaten away
 
         10   by higher fees.  Loss of banking services yield
 
         11   less financial stability to our neighborhoods.
 
         12            What that puts in place are check cashing
 
         13   places, pawn shops -- oh, and underground economy.
 
         14   We all know that means guns, drugs, theft, violence
 
         15   and the things that go with underground economies.
 
         16   We don't need that in our neighborhood on the Near
 
         17   East Side.  We have it.  We'd rather have banks in
 
         18   and guns out.
 
         19            What we're asking for pretty simply is a
 
         20   moratorium on the venture and have the Fed have
 
         21   local public hearings.  That could be in
 
         22   Indianapolis.  That could be in Lafayette.  As long
 
         23   as you have one in the state of Indiana, I think we
 
         24   can get folks there to satisfy that.
 
 
 
 
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          1            We believe it's time and demand that it's
 
          2   time for the banks to work with communities toward
 
          3   a plan to provide more sound financial planning for
 
          4   our communities.  We want the banks to provide for
 
          5   stronger CRA agreements with our federal
 
          6   communities.
 
          7            We don't need bureaucrats who aren't the
 
          8   experts in our communities.  We need community
 
          9   folks who can speak to the banks so that the banks
 
         10   know how they affect us and how, in fact, we can
 
         11   help them.
 
         12            The banking situation is a win-win
 
         13   situation if the bank takes the aggressive posture
 
         14   that it's going to lend to us with the products and
 
         15   services that are designed to work in our
 
         16   communities, but they don't.
 
         17            And last, we would like to provide for a
 
         18   community monitoring mechanism for our state so
 
         19   that we can enjoy the luxury of seeing how the
 
         20   banks are working with our communities.
 
         21            In our community, Banc One and NBD are the
 
         22   two largest real estate renters downtown.  When
 
         23   these banks combine, we're going to have a deficit
 
         24   for office space because they're the number one and
 
 
 
 
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          1   the number two occupants.  That's not going to be
 
          2   just bank employees.  That's going to have an
 
          3   effect on folks that run the elevators, wash the
 
          4   windows, park the cars in the garages.  It's going
 
          5   to have a devastating effect.
 
          6            I thank you for your time.
 
          7       MS. SMITH:  Thank you very much.
 
          8            Any questions?
 
          9            And I want to remind you that -- to be
 
         10   sure to give your written statements if you haven't
 
         11   already provided them to our people at the
 
         12   registration desk so that they can be entered fully
 
         13   into the record.  So thank you very much for coming
 
         14   this afternoon.
 
         15            Okay.  We'll start with Ms. Rangan,
 
         16   please, if someone will pass her the mic.
Last update: December 3, 2010