WASHINGTON — Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry made the following statement today at a press conference announcing a fair lending settlement with Wells Fargo:
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is committed to assuring that national banks and federal savings associations provide fair access to credit and treat every customer fairly. Every person who applies for a loan should be evaluated on the basis of objective credit factors, and not the color of their skin. The practice of steering minority borrowers into higher-priced subprime loans is not just unacceptable, but illegal, and the OCC is absolutely committed to eradicating these practices. The action being announced today should send a strong message to every institution that lending discrimination in all its forms will not be tolerated.
This case is an example of interagency cooperation that represents government at its best—multiple agencies working together for the benefit of the citizens we serve. The OCC’s work began in 2009, when we started an investigation of Wells Fargo’s mortgage lending in the Baltimore-Washington area. Based on our findings, we referred the case to the Department of Justice, and we continued to work with the Department throughout.
I’d like to commend everyone at the Department of Justice who participated in negotiating this Consent Order. They were all true professionals who put the public first at every step of the way. I’m pleased that OCC examiners, economists, and enforcement attorneys were able to play a role in this action, and I believe the remedies contained in the Consent Order bring this matter to an appropriate resolution.