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United States v. Washington Trust Co. of Westerly Ends in $9 Million Settlement

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a complaint against the Washington Trust bank company located in Rhode Island. The DOJ stated that the bank violated fair lending laws by purposely not offering home loan services at its branches in black and Hispanic-dominated neighborhoods. Furthermore, the DOJ alleged that the bank knew about these racial disparities yet did nothing to change their policies or do more outreach. The Washington Trust bank agreed to a $9 million settlement with the DOJ and to have two branches in black or Hispanic neighborhoods and assign mortgage officers focused on serving those areas.

Betsy Reed, Rhode Island bank agrees to pay $9m over discriminatory lending allegations, The Guardian, (Sept. 27, 2023).

Tags: Black & Hispanic neighborhoods, complaint, Department of Justice, disparities, DOJ's Combatting Redlining Initiative, fair lending laws, home loan services, loan applications, outreach, racial discrimination, redlining, settlement