RBC subsidiary in U.S. to pay $31 million redlining settlement

TORONTO — An RBC subsidiary in the U.S. has reached a US$31-million settlement with the Department of Justice over allegations of discrimination by limiting mortgage lending in predominately Black and Latino communities.

The Justice Department says the agreement with City National, which RBC bought in 2015, marks the largest redlining settlement in department history.

The agency says that between 2017 and 2020, City National avoided marketing and underwriting mortgages in majority Black and Latino neighbourhoods in Los Angeles County, including by only opening one branch in those neighbourhoods in the past twenty years.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, who leads the Justice Department's civil rights division, said in a statement that the settlement should send a strong message to the financial industry that the agency expects lenders to serve all members of a community.

As part of the settlement, City National will create a $29.5-million loan subsidy fund for loans to Black and Latino borrowers, and will spend $1.75 million on advertising, community outreach and financial education programs to reach minority borrowers.

In a statement, City National said it disagreed with the Justice Department's allegations, but that it will “nonetheless support the DOJ in its efforts to ensure equal access to credit for all consumers, regardless of race.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2023.

— With files from The Associated Press

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The Canadian Press