UNITED STATES NEWS

Oklahoma bank and the Justice Department propose settlement of redlining allegations around Tulsa

Aug 29, 2023, 9:16 AM | Updated: 10:40 am

The U.S. Department of Justice and a northeastern Oklahoma bank have announced a proposed agreement to settle claims that the bank discriminated in lending to Black and Hispanic people in the Tulsa area.

Collinsville-based American Bank of Oklahoma used the illegal practice known as redlining in majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in the Tulsa area, including the area of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, according to the Justice Department.

Redlining is an illegal practice in which lenders avoid providing credit to people because of their race, color or national origin.

The practice was used by the bank from 2017 through at least 2021, the Justice Department alleged.

The proposed consent agreement filed in federal court in Tulsa on Monday is pending court approval and calls for ABOK to provide $1.15 million in credit opportunities in neighborhoods of color in the Tulsa area.

“This agreement will help expand investment in Black communities and communities of color in Tulsa and increase opportunities for homeownership and financial stability,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement.

“Remedial provisions in the agreement will open up opportunities for building generational wealth while focusing on neighborhoods that bear the scars of the Tulsa Race Massacre,” Clarke said.

ABOK denied the allegations but said in a statement that it agreed to the proposal to avoid the cost and distraction of lengthy litigation.

Bank chief executive Joe Landon said in a statement that ABOK, with branches in Collinsville, Ramona, Muskogee, Disney and Skiatook, is a small community bank with $383 million in assets and lamented that the Justice Department referenced the 1921 Race Massacre.

“As Oklahomans, we carry a profound sense of sorrow for the tragic events of the Tulsa Race Massacre over a century ago,” Landon said.

The 1921 massacre left hundreds of Black residents dead when an angry white mob descended on a 35-block area known as Greenwood, looting, killing and burning it to the ground. Beyond those killed, thousands more were left homeless and living in a hastily constructed internment camp.

The three known living survivors of the massacre are appealing a ruling that dismissed their lawsuit seeking reparations from the city and other defendants for the destruction of the once-thriving Black district.

Landon said the bank will expand its deposit and lending products and add mortgage and refinancing options in Tulsa and open a new loan production office in a historically Black area of the city.

The Justice Department said the bank will also provide at least two mortgage loan officers for majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, and host at least six consumer financial education seminars annually with translation and interpretation services in Spanish.

ABOK is also to hire a full-time director of community lending to oversee lending in neighborhoods of color in the Tulsa area.

United States News

A portion of UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s campus in Minnetonka, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)...

Tom Kuebel

Cyber attack on health insurance provider could prevent Arizonans from getting prescriptions

A cyber attack against Change Healthcare has prevented some patients from being able to fill prescriptions at local pharmacies.

9 minutes ago

Stuart Dryden reaches for an item at a grocery store on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Arlington, Va....

Associated Press

Consumers are pushing back against price increases at stores — and winning

Consumers are fighting back against food price increases by turning their backs on high-end brands and purchasing store-label products instead.

6 hours ago

A calendar shows the month of February, including leap day, Feb. 29, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in S...

Associated Press

What would happen without a Leap Day? More than you might think

NEW YORK (AP) — Leap year. It’s a delight for the calendar and math nerds among us. So how did it all begin and why? Have a look at some of the numbers, history and lore behind the (not quite) every four year phenom that adds a 29th day to February. BY THE NUMBERS The […]

17 hours ago

FILE - Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim greets supporters outside Central High School on the day of the r...

Associated Press

Fatigue and frustration as final do-over mayoral election looms in Connecticut’s largest city

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — It’s been nearly four months since a judge tossed out the results of a Democratic mayoral primary in Connecticut’s largest city due to allegations of ballot stuffing, sending voters repeatedly back to the polls and thrusting Bridgeport into an unflattering national spotlight. Many frustrated local voters say they just want it […]

17 hours ago

Homes are seen on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in the southwest Portland, Ore., suburb of Beaverton. Th...

Associated Press

A housing shortage is testing Oregon’s pioneering land use law. Lawmakers are poised to tweak it

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe lack of affordable housing has prompted Oregon lawmakers to consider chipping away at a 1970s law that made the state a national leader in leveraging land use policy to prevent suburban sprawl and conserve nature and agriculture. The so-called urban growth boundary, a sacred cow of Oregon’s liberal politics, […]

17 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Oklahoma bank and the Justice Department propose settlement of redlining allegations around Tulsa