7 Chase Bank Branches Shut Down Over Discriminatory Lending Practices

These demonstrations are an attempt to draw attention to Chase Bank discriminatory lending practices. 

chase bank discriminatory lending practices
Protesters in Chicago closed several chase bank branches. FILE PHOTO

Protesters in Chicago closed several chase bank branches across the city this week. These demonstrations are an attempt to draw attention to Chase Bank discriminatory lending practices

Activists are now demanding that the bank fix the years of deductible debt by investing in Chicago’s black communities.

Modern-day redlining

WPEZ Chicago and City Bureau have reported shocking imbalances in lending to JPMorgan Chase. The main findings of these reports on Chase’s history in Chicago are:

  • JPMorgan Chase gave 41 times more credit to white neighbours than black neighbours. According to WBEZ, Chase has paid $7.5 billion in home purchase loans in Chicago since 2012. But only 1.9% of that money went to the majority-black areas.
  • In a majority-white community (Lake View on the north side), the bank lent nearly nine times more than all of the city’s black-and-black areas.
  • 68.1% of the dollars paid to buy homes went to mostly white areas. 8.7% went to the majority-Latin areas, and only 8.1% went to the majority-black areas. But 30% of Chicago’s population is black Americans.
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These are all part of a practice known as redlining. Beginning in the early twentieth century, banks will decide which neighbourhoods of a city are “low risk” and “high risk”.

All-white neighbourhoods were considered the least dangerous. This means that tenants have no trouble obtaining loans to develop or buy a property. 

However, mostly black neighbourhoods were considered high risk, and they were highlighted in red on credit charts. (Hence the word redlining).

As a result, white families were able to build wealth between generations through property ownership. Black communities were left to live in poverty. It is almost impossible to buy or grow lucrative homes or businesses in these redesigned districts.

While the government forbids explicit redesigning during the civil rights movement, the above statistics prove that such exempt credit practices are sustainable. Moreover, the remnants of the twentieth-century rediscovery are manifest in the racial and financial division that still exists in the city today.

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Redressing inequality

Jamal Green, a 24-year-old Chicago civil rights activist and former mayoral candidate, announced Monday that the Chase branches in Chicago will face massive protests if the bank does not take immediate action to curb discriminatory lending practices.

In the following days, demonstrations outside Chase branches led to the closure of at least seven branches. “We will close every branch on Chicago’s south side and west side until Chase wants to do business with us,” Green said.

Activists are demanding a $1 billion subsidy for black homeowners and small business owners. They have also demanded $10 billion to offset mortgage, small business and investment loans in black communities.

Although Chase announced that several branches would be closed early Friday in recognition of Juneteenth, Green and his fellow demonstrators viewed the move as little more than a PR stunt. Real progress can be made by real structural change.

Source: Lifestyleug.com

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