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City Council Pushing Plan To Regularly Monitor Banks

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council is ramping up its long-running effort to monitor the lending practices of local banks in predominately lower-income neighborhoods.

For years Councilman-at-large Wilson Goode has used council hearings to grill banks that do business with the city on their lending practices in the city’s less affluent communities.

Now he is pushing a plan that would create a formal committee, separate from council, to regularly monitor the banks.

“Banks have a responsibility to lend to all communities. We’ve been monitoring that for several years now. We have very effective work that’s being done by consultants, but we want to bring in advocacy groups and stakeholders to review that data as well,” Goode explains.

Goode say the committee would make recommendations to council on which banks should be authorized to hold city money.

Currently eight banks are authorized by council to serve as city depositories.

At issue: their willingness to offer mortgages, small business loans and home improvement loans to lower income families.

The make-up of the committee is still uncertain. A final vote by the full council on the establishment of the new committee is expected this coming Thursday.

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