Providence, RI, sues Santander for discriminatory housing lending

BOSTON Thu May 29, 2014 9:03am EDT

BOSTON May 29 (Reuters) - The city of Providence, Rhode Island, on Thursday said it filed a federal lawsuit against Santander Bank alleging it refused to make prime mortgages available in minority neighborhoods.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, claims that since 2009, Santander deliberately reduced its lending in minority neighborhoods while expanding in predominately white neighborhoods, violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act.

"Many borrowers in minority neighborhoods are qualified for prime loans, but Santander has written them off," Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. A spokesman for Santander was not immediately available to comment. (Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Scott Malone)

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