City National Bank reaches settlement of redlining allegations with Justice Dept

A City National Bank office is seen in downtown Los Angeles, California January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Jan 12 (Reuters) - City National Bank has agreed to pay $31 million to settle lending discrimination allegations with the U.S. Justice Department, the agency said on Thursday.

A complaint filed in federal court on Thursday alleged that from 2017 through at least 2020, the Los Angeles-based bank received fewer applications in majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Los Angeles County compared with other banks, and in the past 20 years opened only one branch in a majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhood.

In a statement, City National Bank said it disagreed with the allegations, but was supportive of the Justice Department's efforts to "ensure equal access to credit for all consumers, regardless of race."

As part of the settlement, City National Bank has agreed to invest $29.5 million in a loan subsidy fund for residents of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Los Angeles County and to open a bank branch in one of those neighborhoods.

Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler

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