SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 10, 2021 – CRC Executive Director Paulina Gonzalez-Brito issued the following statement today in response to the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) announcement to initiate a review of guidlines on bank mergers.

“We applaud the FDIC’s move to review guidlines on bank mergers. For far too long, banking industry executives have used mergers to line their pockets and have subsequently carried on the legacy of white supremacy in our financial system through this increasingly common practice. Today’s action represents a welcome departure from the blatant rubber-stamping of bank mergers we’ve seen in recent years and is critical to undoing the harm and financial destabilization of low-to-moderate income communities, communities of color and small businesses created by unprecedented bank consolidation.

“We know from experience that merging banks routinely close branches, decrease home and business lending opportunities to people of color, and neglect outreach to these communities. In 2021 alone, CRC has negotiated more than $100 billion in Community Benefits Agreements to mitigate the loss of access to basic banking services for these communities.

“We also support Congresswoman and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) urging of Chair of the Federal Reserve Board Jerome Powell, Acting Comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Michael Hsu, and Chairman of the FDIC Jelena McWilliams to impose a moratorium on approving any large bank M&A over $100 billion while these reviews take place

“All bank mergers should require greater opportunity for public comment, should require a public hearing if there is community concern and should require a CBA that is negotiated with impacted communities which will demonstrate an increase in reinvestment and a clear public benefit.”