California Reinvestment Coalition Responds to News of Public Hearing for OneWest and CIT Group Merger

February 6, 2015: San Francisco: In response to an announcement earlier today that the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, will hold public hearings about the proposed bank merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank, Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition released this statement:

“While it’s a very quick turn-around between now and the hearings, this is a good first step and shows that the regulators are taking seriously the concerns raised by community groups and tens of thousands of people across the country.

We are hopeful that this hearing won’t be a dog and pony show by the bank followed by a rubber stamp approval of the merger by the regulators. Instead, the community should be able to give their input about this merger and whether or not they want or need another Too Big To Fail bank. We also expect that regulators will ask the bank to answer the many tough questions we have raised about this merger that thus far have gone unanswered.

While the hearing is focused on these two banks, it’s also about the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. People are watching to see how the regulators will respond to this proposed merger. Regulators need to see that this merger provides a public benefit, and right now, that’s something that’s glaringly missing in this merger.”

Additional Background:
The CIT and OneWest proposed merger set a record for the number of individual opposing it, with over 15,000people signing a Daily Kos petition, urging the Federal Reserve to deny the merger. Pictures from the delivery of the petitions to the Federal Reserve as well as comments from petition signers are available here.

The California Reinvestment Coalition along with 100 state and national organizations, is opposing the merger and had called on the Federal Reserve and OCC to hold hearings. Last week, CRC delivered a national sign-on letter to the Federal Reserve, urging the regulator to hold hearings.

The California Reinvestment Coalition and its members continue to call on the Federal Reserve to not approve the merger until there is a clear public benefit. Currently, the bank’s proposed Community Reinvestment Plan,will place its CRA activity levels as one of the worst in the industry.

For more information about the merger, please visit CRC’s CIT Group and OneWest Proposed Merger Resource Page.