October 25, 2016
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Florida Civil Rights Group Calls for Federal Investigation Over Allegations of Racial Exclusion


-FMCRC Requesting Federal Investigation by Federal Reserve Board for CRA violations by SunTrust Banks
-FMCRC CRA Committee to hand deliver letter October 13-14 outlining specific CRA, FHA and ECOA violations by SunTrust banks to Federal Reserve Board, Treasury department, key members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic and Asian Caucus 
-FMCRC CRA committee request dismissal of Mr. James Wells III to Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta due to conflict of interest


-CRA accountability is foundation to community revitalization


Then There Was Only One-SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Bank refuses to follow the leadership of Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citi, Regions and Wells Fargo and conduct thorough annual CRA-Community Revitalization Reviews with FMCRC CRA Committee-



The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a federal law that requires banks to meet the credit needs of their entire communities, including low-and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods.  The purpose of the CRA is to fight redlining and to increase lending in LMI neighborhoods.  The CRA federal regulation begins by reciting ‘Congress three findings in passing the law.  First, banks are required to serve the “convenience andneeds” of the communities in which they are chartered to do business.  Second, “the convenience and needs of communities include credit services.”  Third, banks “have continuing and affirmative obligation(s) to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are charted.”


SunTrust Banks and its Chairman Mr. James M. Wells III do not meet the moral obligation of the CRA and the minority communities of Florida and the markets they service-


Statement by analyst regarding SunTrust’s Subprime loans “What troubles Bove is SunTrust’s loan portfolio that contains Alt-A mortgages and loans of all types in Florida, a state that has been a hotbed for mortgage foreclosures.  Overall, the Atlanta-based bank has $48.2 billion in residential real estate and home equity loans, which represent a hefty 39% of its loan portfolio.  In addition, the bank, which raised its dividend 5% to 77 cents per share in February, refuses to cut its payment to conserve cash”



September 2008-SunTrust Bank and 20 company officers and executives are facing a class action accusing them of investing employee retirement benefits in company stock despite substantial investment risks stemming from the bank’s subprime exposure….


SunTrust named in litigation/lawsuit by NAACP for making high cost sub-prime loans to higher qualified African American 54 % of the time, compared to 23% for Caucasians….


FMCRC CRA-Community Revitalization Committee:


We applaud the leadership of Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citi,Regions and Wells Fargo for their participation in the annual FMCRC CRA-Community Revitalization reviews (a practice widely accepted inCalifornia by all major financial institutions).  In that there is much more to accomplish in this area, this is a good first step to ensure that the spirit of the CRA is practices in Florida's minority low and moderate income communities. 


It is very alarming that SunTrust Banks and Mr. Wells III continue to embrace the “old south” way of doing business.  This “practice” was first experienced by FMCRC Chair Al Pina in 2004 when he invited Greenlining Institute Director John Gamboa to make a CRA presentation to key Floridaminority organization leaders and bankers.  During this presentation, SunTrust Bank CRA official Deana Lewis walked out of the meeting in a clear sign of disapproval.  Soon after this meeting, Ms. Lewis called Mr. Pina and told him in no uncertain terms that SunTrust and all the other banks “were upset and did not want the Greenlining model of CRA accountability to be brought to Florida and that Mr. Pina was to stop this activity…”  This act by Ms. Lewis only confirmed to Mr. Pina that he must move forward with FMCRC.  If any banker would have demonstrated such bully tactics in California, they would have been fired immediately.  But not so in Florida.  Mr. Pina had to go through a 16 day hunger strike against SunTrust bank so their bully tactics could be exposed.  


The current recession and the irresponsible banking (subprime) practices that led to this recession have brought about a time in our state and country to “reset” and allow it to become a teachable moment.  With this in mind, the FMCRC CRA Committee has reached out to all the major banks in Florida to conduct annual CRA reviews so that the confidence in banks for our communities and businesses can be renewed with increased transparency and accountability.   


All major Florida banks have agreed to such increased transparency and accountability but SunTrust Banks.  On October 13-14, a representative of the FMCRC CRA-Community Revitalization Committee will hand deliver a letter from FMCRC CRA-Committee members to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Board Director of Consumer and Community Affairs Sandra Braunstein, Treasury officials, key members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Chairs of the Hispanic and Asian Congressional Caucus outlining specific CRA violations by SunTrust Banks:


The letter to the Federal Reserve Board will demonstrate that:


  • SunTrust Banks and it affiliates (including National Commerce Financial Corporation) engaged in predatory lending practices to minorities
  • SunTrust Banks and affiliates engaging in excessive subprime lending to minorities
  • SunTrust Banks excessive percentage of higher priced loans to minorities
  • SunTrust Banks lack of small business lending to Latino’s and Asians
  • SunTrust Banks lack of branches in minority communities
  • SunTrust Banks board of directors lack of diversity (No Latino on board despite being country's largest minority or Asian on board despite being fastest growing minority community)
  • SunTrust Banks lack of diversity at top management
  • SunTrust Banks failure to provide loan modifications to minorities
  • SunTrust Banks horrendous home lending record to Florida low and moderate income families (in particular 80% and 50% of medium income)
  • SunTrust Banks lack of supplier outsourcing to Florida minority businesses
  • SunTrust Banks horrendous record of legal outsourcing to Florida minority firms (and a statement made by SunTrust that no business will be provided to minority law firms unless they give business to SunTrust)
  • SunTrust Banks targeting of minorities for high interest rate credit cards
  • SunTrust Banks equity stripping of minority families
  • SunTrust Banks providing less than 5% of its philanthropy in Florida to minority organizations
  • The ability for the CEO of SunTrust Banks (Mr. James Wells III) to be a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is nothing short of a conflict of interest that allows SunTrust Banks to be treated with preferential treatment as compared to their competitors

The FMCRC CRA-Community Revitalization letter shall be made public following the delivery next week in Washington D.C.



FMCRC Mission Statement

Our goal is to empower low-income and minority communities by attracting investments for health, education, homeownership, employment, and minority entrepreneurship using a holistic advocacy approach.

The Coalition's (70+ minority organizations)  strategy entails six central programs and projects for Florida's minority communities, families and organizations:

  1. Access and opportunity for home and business ownership
  2. Community Reinvestment Policy
  3. Sustainable development
  4. Capacity Building
  5. Consumer protection
  6. Financial and home ownership literacy education


Join us today!



Please direct all questions, concerns, comments, and media inquiries to:
244 Shopping Ave #245
Sarasota, Florida  34237
Email:    Susan Lewis 

 (941) 284-0688

Civil Rights and legal issues or comments to:
Reginald J. Clyne
Clyne & Self, P.A./Civil Rights Attorney
Douglas Centre-Suite 1100
2600 Douglas Rd, Coral Gables Florida  33134

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