Provident Financial Services has entered a $1.3 billion deal to buy Lakeland Bancorp, which disclosed an ongoing fair lending investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
Provident Financial Services in Iselin, New Jersey, is pursuing a $1.3 billion deal for a rival, Lakeland Bancorp, despite concerns over commercial real estate concentrations and an ongoing fair-lending investigation of Lakeland by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Lakeland disclosed the existence of the Justice Department investigation Tuesday in an 8-K Current Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lakeland said it has “cooperated fully” and is in settlement talks. The company added that it “expects such settlement to be generally comparable to other recent DOJ fair lending settlements.”
The $10.4 billion-asset Lakeland, of Oak Ridge, New Jersey, said it could be asked to strengthen policies, procedures and training, boost community outreach and establish a mortgage subsidy fund as part of a potential resolution.
The Justice Department had not responded to a request for comment at deadline.
William Michael Cunningham, an economist and the CEO of Creative Investment Research in Washington, D.C., was more critical. The settlement Lakeland expects, he said, is “really just a fine.”
“That’s the issue with fair-lending laws,” Cunningham said. “They don’t impact a bank’s operation in the least.”
The U.S. economy improved in the second quarter of 2022. Real GDP fell by 0.9% in Q2 after falling 1.6% in the first. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the value of the goods and services purchased by, or on the behalf of, “persons” who reside in the United States, increased $181.1 billion (1.1 percent). The PCE price index, which measures changes in the prices of goods and services purchased by US persons increased 1.0 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.6 percent. Real Personal Consumption increased 0.1 percent.
Despite the negativity in the media, this is a positive indicator. Whether it remains a good sign depends on future economic policy. The Fed may get its “soft landing” after all.
The chart above shows minority bank assets by ethnic group, by year from 2001 to 2021. It details Hispanic bank assets falling relative to Asian bank assets starting in 2005.
The chart above shows minority bank assets as a percentage of 100% by year from 2001 to 2021. It shows a decline in Hispanic bank assets starting in 2005, most likely due to the impact of restrictions on immigration placed by the Bush Administration. The 2008 financial crisis and the impact of Obama Administration policies also slowed Hispanic bank asset growth, This also served to elevate the relative growth of Asian bank assets.
Full detail concerning these factors are outlined in our Mid-Year 2022 Minority Bank and Thrift Review. To purchase this report, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The number of minority banks in the US held steady at between 168 and 174 in the second quarter of 2022.
Asian owned banks, concentrated in California, hold 51% of assets, with 77 institutions., Hispanic banks, concentrated in Florida and Texas, number 33 institutions and hold 42% of assets, followed by Women-owned banks (17 institutions with 3% of assets), Black Banks (19 institutions and 2% of assets), Native American Banks (20 institutions and 2% of assets) and Multi-ethnic Banks (2 institutions and 0.42% of assets)
Asian assets total $172 billion. Hispanic institutions hold $141 billion. Women-owned bank assets total $9.7 billion. Black bank assets are $7 billion. Native American institutions hold $7.6 billion and Multi-ethnic banks have $480 million in assets.
These factors point to a set of policies designed to assist the growth and utilization of these institutions. Our report describes and details these factors.
Mid-Year 2022 Minority Bank and Thrift Review ($450.00)
Summary 3 Geographic Concentration 5 Asian Banks 6 Hispanic Banks 7 Black Banks 8 Conclusion 9 Endnotes 10
Black women die in childbirth at disproportionate rates compared to their white counterparts. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly shows that social determinants – access to nutrition, transportation, and healthcare——are crucial factors.
BankThink. American Banker Newspaper, June 22, 2022
The Community Reinvestment Act was enacted in 1977 “to address inequities in access to credit for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities.” The law should be repealed and replaced. Like hanging a crystal chandelier in a lean-to shack, any efforts to revise the law are a waste of time. This especially includes efforts proposed by the Federal Reserve Board “to strengthen the achievement of the core purpose of the statute, and to adapt to changes in the banking industry, including the expanded role of mobile and online banking.”
As reported in Black Enterprise Magazine, “While multiple reports have shown rising interest in financing Black-owned small businesses, a new study shows an underlying problem still remains. According to the “State of Minority Business, March 2022” report by Creative Investment Research, there has been less understanding of the core issues small Black-owned firms face in gaining funding to start or grow enterprises.”