| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
MONDAY, May 19, 2004
| CRT |
TDD (202) 514-1888
SUMMARY OF $3.2 MILLION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN FIFTH THIRD BANCORP. AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The United States' lawsuit alleges that Old Kent Financial Corporation and Old Kent Bank (collectively "Old Kent"), subsequently acquired by Fifth Third Bankcorp, engaged in a pattern of discrimination on the basis of race by unlawfully avoiding and refusing to provide its business and residential lending products and services to Detroit's predominantly African-American minority neighborhoods in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The United States and Fifth Third agreed to settle the lawsuit through a judicially enforceable settlement agreement. That agreement requires the following:
Fifth Third will comply with the fair lending laws and not engage in any act or practice which discriminates on the basis of race or color in any aspect of its small business lending or residential real estate-related transactions in violation of the FHA and the ECOA.
Fifth Third will invest $3 million in lending subsidies over three years in a special financing program, under which it will offer small businesses and residents of the City of Detroit small business loans and residential real estate-related loan products on more favorable terms than would normally be provided. The Bank will:
- invest $800,000 in the first year, $1 million the second year and $1.2 million in the third year; and,
- direct at least two-thirds of each year's loan subsidies towards small business lending with the remaining subsidy amount going towards residential related lending.
Marketing and Outreach
In order to improve its performance in meeting the residential and small business lending needs of residents in the majority African-American City of Detroit, Fifth Third will:
- open three new full-service branches in the City of Detroit within the three years;
- maintain the Detroit Business Group Team's positions of three business banking lenders for the City of Detroit for the duration of the Agreement;
- relocate its team of business banking lenders responsible for developing business in Detroit into the City of Detroit by the end of 2004;
- provide fair-lending training on an annual basis to its employees and agents involved in business and residential lending;
- conduct a targeted advertising program, including print media, radio spots and promotional materials, to generate a significant number of loan applications from qualified businesses and residents in the City of Detroit; and
- fund consumer education programs for residents and small businesses in the City of Detroit by investing at least $100,000 for a small business planning and education program and at least $100,000 for a home-buyer education and counseling program.
During the three-year term of the Agreement Fifth Third will submit three detailed annual reports to the United States on its progress fulfilling the goals of the Agreement. Fifth Third will retain all records relating to its obligations under the Agreement and make them available to the United States upon request. If the bank does not comply with the terms of the Agreement, which becomes an Order of the Court when it is signed by the judge, the United States can seek court enforcement of its terms.
Document posted 5/19/04 > >