The Justice Department has announced Texas Champion Bank of Alice, Texas, will establish uniform pricing policies, conduct employee training and pay $700,000 as part of a settlement to resolve allegations that it engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of national origin.
The settlement, which is subject to court approval, was filed in conjunction with the Justice Department’s complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The complaint alleges that Texas Champion charged higher prices on unsecured consumer loans made to Hispanic borrowers through its branch offices in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).
“The complaint filed today demonstrates that the Civil Rights Division is committed to fair lending enforcement across the entire spectrum of credit markets,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
The lawsuit originated from a 2010 referral by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Under the settlement, Texas Champion will pay $700,000 to approximately 2,000 Hispanic victims of discrimination, monitor its loans for potential disparities based on national origin, and provide equal credit opportunity training to its employees. Texas Champion will also revise its pricing policies to ensure that the price charged for its loans is set in a non-discriminatory manner consistent with the requirements of ECOA. The agreement also prohibits the bank from discriminating on the basis of national origin in any aspect of a credit transaction.
“The Southern District of Texas is committed to ensuring banks and other lending institutions do not discriminate against borrowers on the basis of race or national origin,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Kenneth Magidson. “The consent order filed today should serve as a reminder that discrimination in lending will not be tolerated.”