Magazine article American Banker

Cleveland's Charter One Set to Lend $9M to Chicago Poor

Magazine article American Banker

Cleveland's Charter One Set to Lend $9M to Chicago Poor

Article excerpt

Charter One Financial of Cleveland said Friday that it has agreed with a coalition of community groups to lend $9 million in poor Chicago-area neighborhoods over three years.

The bank holding company also agreed to make 900 mortgage loans -- some of which might count toward the dollar target -- in such neighborhoods.

The pact with the Chicago CRA Coalition comes three months after Charter One said it would buy St. Paul Bancorp, the city's largest independent thrift, with $6 billion of assets.

Anthony Sisto, senior vice president of Charter One Bank, said the agreement has set some standards for the company's foray into Chicago and fits with its business strategy. To have tangible numbers and goals to work toward - to us that was a good place to start, he said.

Under the agreement's terms, Charter One plans to make $3 million in community redevelopment loans annually for three years. The $24.9 billion-asset bank holding company also said it would make 284 home loans in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in 2000 and would increase the number of loans it makes in the two subsequent years by 10%. The parties will review that mortgage agreement annually, however, to adjust for changes in demand for home loans nationwide.

Charter One also agreed to keep open all of its branches in lower-income neighborhoods for at least three years, unless the branches are within a mile of each other.

In addition, the bank holding company plans to upgrade its withdrawal-only ATMs to include deposit-taking capabilities if the machines process more than 5,000 transactions per month. …

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