The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's two-year investigation into lending practices at National City Bank has ended with charges of loan discrimination against African-American and Hispanic borrowers. According to the probe, the bank charged about 75,000 minority customers roughly 1 percentage point more in interest and fees on home loans between 2002 and 2008.
The disparity -- which could not be justified by credit score of length of the loans -- meant an extra $160 per year in payments for the black and Latino borrowers and, according to the U.S. Justice Department, violated the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity acts. The responsibility for compensating affected borrowers will fall on PNC Financial Services Group, which acquired National City in 2009. "This case marks the Justice Department's latest step to protect Americans from discriminatory lending practices, and shows we will always fight to hold accountable those who take advantage of consumers for financial gain," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press statement.