US mortgage data shows racial, economic discrimination by Santander Bank: group

The logo of Santander bank is seen on the wall of a branch in Monterrey, Mexico November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Outlets of Santander Bank, already under fire for lending practices, denied mortgages to women, minorities and low-income borrowers in the U.S. Northeast more frequently than nearby banks, according to an analysis by an industry reform group on Thursday.

The Committee for Better Banks, a coalition of bank workers, consumer advocacy groups and unions, dug into government data on home loans in the U.S. Northeast, including nearly 10,000 Santander home-purchase applications, and found “a disturbing pattern of racial and economic discrimination.”

Santander denied more than 26 percent of borrowers of color a mortgage in 2014, when other banks in the same locations only turned down 17 percent in aggregate, according to the analysis.

It also refused loans to 30 percent of low-income applicants, compared to the aggregate rate of 18 percent, and 20 percent of women, compared to the aggregate rate of 13.6 percent.

Meanwhile, in 2015, Santander rejected more than three people of color for every white borrower it turned down.

A Santander spokesperson said the bank has “serious questions about its accuracy.”

Santander’s Ann Davis said the main data source, disclosures that lenders file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, “does not reflect many…


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