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Midwest BankCentre settles redlining case

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

St. Louis-based Midwest BankCentre has settled a case with the Justice Department over alleged redlining in its lending practices.

Under the settlement the bank has agreed to open a branch in Pagedale and invest  a total of $1.45 million in predominantly black neighborhoods.

Eric Halperin is special counsel for the Justice Department.  He says racial discrimination in the lending market has increased as the economy continues to struggle.

"Unfortunately we are seeing a reemergence of redlining," Halperin said. "In our current lending environment where credit is harder and harder and harder to come by, unfortunately there are some lending institutions that are choosing which areas to serve based on the race of the people."

The bank was referred to the Department of Justice by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunities Council.

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