August 2, 2013 – Today, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations for banks that were recently evaluated on how services are meeting the credit needs of the community. Eagle Bank and Trust Company of Missouri received a “Needs to Improve” rating on their CRA exam dated May 21, 2012.
The St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) provided a public comment letter in March 2012 to the FDIC for consideration in Eagle Bank and Trust’s CRA exam. The comment letter detailed concerns with the bank’s service to low- and moderate-income communities and minority communities. SLEHCRA was concerned that the bank’s assessment area excluded portions of north St. Louis City and north St. Louis County. Both of these areas have substantial minority populations and low- and moderate-income communities. SLEHCRA was also concerned with low levels of lending to minority borrowers and communities, and urged the FDIC to conduct a thorough fair lending investigation.
According to Eagle Bank and Trust’s CRA examination, the FDIC found substantive fair lending violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act. The FDIC also found violations in how the Bank designated their assessment area that excluded low- and moderate-income census tracts. The FDIC revised the Bank’s assessment area to include all of St. Louis County, St. Louis City and Jefferson County. SLEHCRA’s concerns are also detailed in the Bank’s CRA examination.
This is the first time that the FDIC has given a “Needs to Improve” rating to a bank in the St. Louis metro area since 1995. SLEHCRA applauds the FDIC for taking steps to better enforce the CRA. In giving banks lowered ratings for poor performance, the FDIC is ensuring that banks are held accountable for services provided to the community, particularly communities that have been underserved by mainstream financial institutions. SLEHCRA hopes that the FDIC continues to conduct rigorous CRA and fair lending exams, and continues to take action on serious community concerns related to bank performance.
Eagle Bank and Trust Company of Missouri is headquartered in Hillsboro, Missouri, and operates 14 branches. The bank reports $893 million in assets. The FDIC’s Kansas City regional office conducted the bank’s CRA examination, which is available online here: http://www2.fdic.gov/crapes/2012/17691_120521.PDF
SLEHCRA is a coalition working to increase investment in low- and moderate- income communities, regardless of race, and in minority communities, regardless of income, by ensuring that banks are meeting their obligations under the CRA and fair lending laws. SLEHCRA regularly reviews bank performance and provides public comment letters on CRA and fair lending performance. All bank analyses and public comments are posted online at www.slehcra.org. SLEHCRA also partners with banks to assist in developing strategies to better serve all parts of the community. SLEHCRA member organizations stand ready and willing to partner with Eagle Bank and Trust to help identify ways of improving performance to low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color.