St. Louis Public Radio News
10:13 am
Tue October 6, 2009

Local bank accused of "redlining"

St. Louis – Equal housing advocates in St. Louis are accusing a local bank of refusing to provide home mortgages to minorities, an illegal practice typically referred to as "redlining."

Midwest BankCentre has not provided a loan to an African-American borrower in five years, said Mira Tanna of the St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council. That fact, she said, is troubling behavior for an institution that is considered to be a "large bank".

"What seems to me to be unacceptable is for them to not take the whole city of St. Louis in their assessment area," Tanna said. "And that the areas that they're excluding are areas of high minority concentration."

Midwest BankCentre runs seven branch locations in the St. Louis area. The bank is currently undergoing a review by the Federal Reserve.

Midwest BankCentre chairman Ronald Barnes said in a statement that the bank complies with federal law and will address concerns directly with the Federal Reserve.