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Bank of NY to expand community outreach.

The Community Coalition for Fair Banking, a project of East Harlem Interfaith, and Inner City Press/Community on the Move, based in the South Bronx, announced that their challenge to the Bank of New York's (BONY) application to acquire 62 branches of Barclays Bank in New York State was successful.

The Federal Reserve Board conditioned its approval of the acquisition on BONY's agreement to expand its community service area to include The Bronx, Northern Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) community lending map, BONY had excluded these areas, thus sparking a challenge, under the CRA, from the two community groups. The two groups were represented by The New York Law School's Civil Law Clinic and Richard Krulik, Esq.

The Federal Reserve Board's decision means that BONY must work to meet the credit needs of 3 million more low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. BONY has agreed to meet regularly with the community groups which brought the challenge to develop a program to meet the credit needs of East Harlem and the South Bronx, including small business loans and loans for multi-family affordable housing.

The groups called the FRB's action "a big victory. This means that low-and moderate-income individuals--and the groups representing them--in the South Bronx, northern Manhattan and Brooklyn have achieved real standing under the Community Reinvestment Act and now can ask BONY to meet their credit needs under the Act."

East Harlem Interfaith (EHI) is a coalition of 42 congregations and faith-based agencies in East Harlem which advocate for social and economic justice. The Community Coalition for Fair Banking, a project of EHI, is dedicated to economic empowerment in East Harlem.

Represented by The New York Law School Civil Law Clinic, EHI has been successful in the past in increasing the commitment of banks under the CRA to meet the credit needs of New York's diverse neighborhoods. For example, in a challenge to Banco de Ponce's merger with Banco Popular, they received a $5 million lending commitment for East Harlem. In addition, together with other community groups, their challenge to the Chemical Bank-Manufacturers Hanover merger lead to a $750 million lending commitment for community credit needs in New York, New Jersey and Texas, including significant monies for Harlem.

Inner City Press/Community on the Move is a grassroots community housing group in the South Bronx that works with very low-income people. This is their first formal CRA challenge.
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Title Annotation:Federal Reserve Board approves Bank of New York's acquisition of Barclays Bank on condition that it expand its service area to include The Bronx, Northern Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, New York in response to challenge from Community Coalition for Fair Banking
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 16, 1992
Words:401
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