California Court Rules That Governor Brown Unlawfully Diverted $331 Million from National Homeowner Special Deposit Fund by BofA, Wells Fargo and Other Major Banks

Court Ruling: click here

Press Release: click here

New York Times Article: click here

Press Release California Court Rules That Governor Brown Unlawfully Diverted $331 Million

 

Groups Demand that $369 Million Improperly Taken from Attorney General Bank Settlement be Returned to Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

At 9:30 a.m. on March 14th, major Black, Latino and Asian American organizations filed a Petition in Sacramento Superior Court demanding that Governor Brown return up to $350 million out of California’s share of the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement that was secured by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, so that it can be used as intended – to aid the state’s millions of homeowners in distress via direct relief and through grants to the organizations that support them.

The full text of the petition for writ of mandamus can be viewed here.

Letters of support have been sent to the Governor by HomeFree-USA, the largest minority-led, HUD-approved home counseling intermediary in the nation, with affiliates in California, including the NAAC; and Operation HOPE, a national organization headed by John Bryant that also offers HUD-approved home counseling, and whose Chairman is leading civil rights figure and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young. Both organizations state that they are available to meet with the Governor and the Petitioners to resolve the lawsuit.

The lawsuit has been covered by Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times.

Asian Americans Could Provide Swing Vote in Future Elections

faith picture

FAITH BAUTISTA AND ALAN THIAN-SPECIAL TO THE BEE
12/13/2014 4:00 PM

With the 2014 midterm elections behind us, one demographic has both Republicans and Democrats buzzing. Based on exit polling of the 2014 midterm elections, 50 percent of Asian American support went to the Republicans. This is in stark contrast to 2012, when President Barack Obama and the Democrats won the Asian American vote in a landslide with 73 percent.This significant swing among Asian American voters should signal to both parties that 20 million Asian Americans cannot be locked in politically and that they could very well be the unknown quotient that tips the scales in future elections.

Asian Americans are the nation’s fastest-growing swing vote, outpacing Hispanic Americans in terms of annual growth. The growing influence of this voting bloc is evidenced in certain gubernatorial races and in many close Senate and House races in 2014 where they tipped the scales, such as Virginia’s 10th Congressional District race.

Even in California – home to almost one-third of all Asian Americans in the nation – where one party appears to have a lock, Republicans focused on a long-term strategy of courting the Asian American vote. In Orange County, the Republican Party expended the time and funding necessary to recruit three Asian American candidates for the California Senate and Assembly races.

 

As a result, we now have two new Asian American assemblywomen, Ling-Ling Chang and Young Kim, and one new Asian American state senator, Janet Nguyen. This small effort has changed the dynamics in the California Assembly since the Democrats no longer have a supermajority.

The takeaway from the 2014 elections is that Asian Americans are not committed Democrats. In a poll by the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, 40 percent of the Asian American electorate still does not identify with either political party. The Asian American constituency is therefore persuadable on key issues affecting them. All that may be required is just a better and deeper understanding of Asian American voters.

The same poll also showed that, although the Asian American electorate is a diverse voting bloc, there are many commonalities. The economy, jobs, education, and health care represent the top four issues among Asian Americans ethnic groups. This includes upward employment mobility, small business development and homeownership, which is the dream of 95 percent of Asian Americans.

However, a majority of Asian Americans, 56 percent, were never contacted by either party about voting or registering to vote for the 2014 elections. This failure, combined with the low turnout of Asian Americans, could be a future opportunity for both political parties to substantially increase their efforts to engage the growing Asian American electorate.

For example, in the 2014 Virginia Senate race, it appears that numerous campaign outreach events held at Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and Filipino community centers might have tipped the scales for Sen. Mark Warner. In a state where Asian Americans represent 3 percent of total voters, as compared to 12 to 15 percent in California, Warner secured 68 percent of the Asian vote, a margin of support greater than his margin of victory. Warner won with 49 percent of the vote, Republican Ed Gillespie had 48 percent.

If both parties committed more efforts to engage Asian American voters, a little investment could well make the difference in the 2016 presidential election and future elections, even in seemingly one-party states such as California.

Link to the Original Article:  http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article4436176.html#storylink=cpy

President Bill Clinton to Keynote Banc of California’s Financial Literacy Education Event Nov. 9th at USC

More than 5,000 at-risk youth to attend world’s largest financial literacy training session

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the United States, will keynote the world’s largest financial literacy education event on November 9, 2014 at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center. Presented by Banc of California, the event will include over 5,000 at-risk youth from communities throughout Southern California.

President Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.

“We are proud to be joined by President Clinton as our Keynote Speaker at Banc of California’s record setting financial literacy training event on November 9th. Banc of California recognizes President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for their commitment to expand financial opportunities for youth across America. Banc of California is proud to commit its resources to improving the financial literacy of at-risk youth throughout California,” said Steven Sugarman, Banc of California’s President and CEO.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, will join with Sugarman to lead the financial literacy training. The event builds on Banc of California’s ongoing efforts to strengthen financial literacy for California’s at-risk youth.

“Having an understanding of basic financial concepts such as how to balance a check book can make a tangible difference in a young person’s ability to succeed. Financial literacy needs to be as fundamental as reading, writing and arithmetic,” said Villaraigosa. “Banc of California wants to help improve financial literacy education for our young people so that they can better fulfill the American dream. This event is an example of that effort.”

The bank has developed partnerships with non-profit, community and faith-based organizations to hold financial literacy classes, including partnerships with the University of Southern California and San Diego State University, designed to improve financial literacy education for underserved youths throughout Southern California.

Millions of Americans lack basic financial knowledge. A 2008 National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Financial Literacy Survey found that only 34 percent of American parents taught their teenagers how to balance a checkbook and even fewer have discussed how credit card interest and fees work. The same survey found only 59 percent of millennials say they pay their bills on time every month and that three out of every four Americans say they are not saving enough.

Banc of California has received record support from community organizations throughout California who have applauded Banc of California’s community development activities, including its focus on financial literacy training.

“Lower income communities are disproportionally impacted by a lack of financial skills, which drastically lowers upward mobility. Our event is designed to teach these important skills, but also to shine a bright light on the need for improved financial literacy for at-risk youth,” said Chad Brownstein, Vice Chairman of Banc of California’s Board of Directors.

Schools, non-profits and faith-based organizations interested in participating in Banc of California’s financial literacy event can register their students by emailing: literacy@bancofcal.com.

About Banc of California, Inc.

Since 1941, Banc of California, Inc. (BANC) through its banking subsidiary Banc of California, National Association, has provided banking services and loans to private businesses, entrepreneurs and homeowners in California and the West. For more information on Banc of California, please go towww.bancofcal.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “Safe-Harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are necessarily subject to risk and uncertainty and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated due to various factors, including those set forth from time to time in the documents filed or furnished by Banc of California, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and Banc of California, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update any such statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date on which the forward-looking statement is made.

 

Contact:
INVESTOR RELATIONS INQUIRIES:
Banc of California, Inc.
Timothy Sedabres, 855-361-2262
or
MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Vectis Strategies
David Herbst, 213-973-4113 x101

Head of Antitrust, President of the California Public Utilities Commission and CEO of OneWest Bank Will Be Keynote Speakers at the National Asian American Coalition’s Economic Development and Empowerment Conference

PRESS RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT
Cherilyn Tran: (901) 361  4903 / ctran@naac.org

Jeronathon Angeles: (650) 952-0522j@naac.org

For Immediate Release

October 20, 2014 

Location: Town and Country Resort & Conference Center

500 Hotel Circle North

San Diego, CA 92108

Date: Friday, October 24th, 2014

Time: Doors open at 11:30am

Head of Antitrust, President of the California Public Utilities Commission and CEO of OneWest Bank Will Be Keynote Speakers at the National Asian American Coalition’s Economic Development and Empowerment Conference

The National Asian American Coalition, on October 24th, will have as its two keynote speakers William Baer, the Chief of the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, and Michael Peevey, the President of the California Public Utilities Commission. In addition, Joseph Otting, the CEO of OneWest Bank, will deliver brief comments. This will occur during dinner at the Town and Country Resort & Conference Center beginning at 7pm. Also in attendance will be 800 minority leaders and fifty corporations, including thirty-one corporate sponsors of the conference.

Two public panels will precede the dinner. One will focus on creating 1.6 million additional low/moderate income homeowners per year. The other will be discussing how financial institutions can help create jobs through small business lending to California’s two million minority-owned businesses. Both panels will include federal regulators from the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as financial institutions and key community representatives.

The conference also includes a private luncheon with more than a dozen Korean American and Chinese American banks (also attended by the regulators) to discuss how Chinese American and Korean American-owned banks can work with all minorities, not just their own ethnic group.

William Baer’s office played a key role in blocking the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, has been involved in a number of key recent antitrust issues in the airline industry, and is currently considering the implications of the present Comcast/Time Warner merger. He will also be conducting the first ever minority youth financial education seminar by a head of Antitrust.  It begins at 4:30pm and will be attended by two hundred minority youth from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

Michael Peevey, the head of the CPUC, will be honored as the leading state regulator in promoting diversity opportunities, including minorities on boards of directors and ensuring that billions of dollars annually in business contracts are awarded to minorities. He will be addressing minority issues in the context of 60% of California’s population being minorities and 75% of California’s youth being minorities.

Joseph Otting, the CEO of OneWest Bank, will in part be discussing the potential of a “systemically important” middle-sized bank, as a result of its proposed acquisition by CIT, having a positive and dynamic impact on minority communities.

Faith Bautista, CEO and President of the National Asian American Coalition, said, “Any bank merger that creates a ‘systemically important’ bank should be subject to careful regulatory scrutiny. Some community groups have therefore opposed the OneWest/CIT merger. In contrast, the NAAC and many of its Black and Latino church, minority business chamber and nonprofit partners are urging that the merger be designed to benefit California’s 25 million minorities in the context of OneWest’s commitment to securing an “Outstanding” CRA rating. We are being advised in this matter by the former general counsel of the Greenlining Institute and the general counsel for many of the organizations urging the Federal Reserve to approve the merger if it is truly in the public interest.”

Michael Peevey is being honored because he has done more for minority employment and minority small businesses than any other regulator, state or federal, in the nation.

Joseph Otting, the CEO of OneWest Bank, has been invited because his bank’s proposed acquisition by CIT will be the first test of what the Federal Reserve will require whenever a ‘systemically important’ bank is created.

Making Up for the Lack of Minority-Owned Banks

MARK WHITLOCK AND FAITH BAUTISTA
SEP 15, 2014 12:00pm ET
Mark Whitlock is the senior minister of the largest black church in Orange County, Calif., Christ Our Redeemer Church. Faith Bautista is the chief executive of the National Asian American Coalition.

Regulators have promoted the growth of minority-owned banks since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These efforts have paid off to some extent with the success of Chinese-American and Chinese-owned banks, as well as Korean-American and Korean-owned banks. But today there are virtually no black-owned banks in the country that are large enough to serve a significant segment of black or other minority communities. The U.S. also has a dearth of Latino-owned banks (excluding Cuban American-owned banks) and banks that are owned by Southeast Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders.

Because of the current regulatory and economic landscape, it is unlikely that many new minority-owned banks — or white-owned banks for that matter — will emerge over the next decade. Rather than try to swim against the current, an increasing number of minority communities are urging large white-owned financial institutions and Chinese and Korean American-owned banks to address the concerns of all underserved minority communities.

This cannot be done without strong support and leadership from banking regulators. An initial signal that the regulators may support this initiative are the reforms to Community Reinvestment Act exams suggested by three regulators on Sept. 8. The proposed changes include giving extra CRA credit to banks that lead efforts to move financially underserved populations away from payday lenders and into banking, and to banks that make microloans to small businesses. Extra CRA credit would also be available to banks that use alternative credit scoring models as part of their home origination and other loan underwriting decisions. We estimate that this last change alone could help an additional one million Americans become homeowners each year.

But even more innovation is needed in order to ensure that banks are meeting the needs of minority communities. Individual banks should be creating plans as to how they can better serve the underbanked and maximize responsible homeownership and small business development. Moreover, regulators should reward banks that pursue such changes by giving them extra CRA credit and, where necessary, relaxing unnecessary regulatory barriers.

Large and small Chinese American-owned banks in California are already taking action to broaden their CRA horizons, encouraged by discussions with black, Latino and Southeast Asian churches, business chambers and minority grassroots non-profits.

The two largest Chinese American-owned banks, East West Bank and Cathay Bank, have begun to reexamine their CRA responsibilities in recognition of the fact that Latinos, blacks and Southeast Asians often constitute the vast majority of populations in their assessment areas. Smaller Chinese American-owned banks, led by Royal Business Bank, have also begun exploring ways to assist all underserved communities.

Royal Business is now providing massive lines of credit to nonprofits that allow them purchase real-estate owned properties, rehabilitate the houses and sell them to low- and moderate-income families. And East West, Cathay and Royal Business have each started financial education programs that focus on black youth, who currently face a disproportionately high unemployment rate.

Underrepresented minority communities have also approached Korean American-owned banks, including BBCN Bank, Hamni Bank, and Wilshire Bank, about how they can replicate the progressive CRA stance of many Chinese American-owned banks.

In addition, more must be done to ensure that the nation’s 130 million minorities receive effective banking services from white-owned banks — including too big to fail banks like JPMorgan Chase, which lost its “outstanding” rating in 2013. JPMorgan could become a number-one home originator to low- and moderate-income families by developing a failsafe alternative credit scoring system to use in conjunction with responsible homeownership requirements and expectations. If other financial institutions follow JPMorgan’s lead, these measures would ward off potential for another subprime housing crisis while allowing homeownership among minorities to reach record highs. This could be a very realistic and profitable effort for many of the country’s largest financial institutions.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln created the first black-owned bank — the Freedman’s Savings Bank. Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act was enacted and the War on Poverty began, it is time for community groups, banks and regulators to develop a new paradigm for ensuring that all minorities are effectively served by our increasingly regulated and federally-subsidized banking industry.

Mark Whitlock is the senior minister of the largest black church in Orange County, Calif., Christ Our Redeemer Church, and the director of corporate partnerships for 5,000 African Methodist Episcopal churches. Faith Bautista is the chief executive of National Asian American Coalition.

Link to the Original Article: http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/making-up-for-the-lack-of-minority-owned-banks-1069903-1.html

Church, Low-Income, and Minority Communities Demand Additional Remedies Relating to FTC Investigation into T-Mobile’s Unauthorized Charges

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

July 9, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT

Faith Bautista: (650) 892-8469 / fbautista@naacoalition.org

Jason Wu: (650) 952-0522 / jwu@naacoalition.org

Church, Low-Income, and Minority Communities Demand Additional Remedies Relating to FTC Investigation into T-Mobile’s Unauthorized Charges

Today, one week after the FTC filed charges regarding T-Mobile’s unauthorized third-party subscription charges, nine church, low-income, and minority communities filed a complaint with the FTC on T-Mobile. The complaint, which is attached, charges that T-Mobile took particular advantage of low-income and minority communities as it sought to gain market share against Verizon and AT&T.

The church minority community complaint also urges special remedies and protections for these communities who alone have lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of T-Mobile’s improper practices. It also urges that the FCC take appropriate action regarding damages, fines, and penalties.

Mark Whitlock, the senior pastor for the largest black church south of Los Angeles and the chair of corporate relations for 5000 AME churches nationwide, said “Our churches commend the FTC for its vigilance, but we believe there will be no effective resolution unless T-Mobile CEO John Legere steps to the plate and jointly works with church-based and minority nonprofits to ensure full refunds and specific actions that will end cramming not just for T-Mobile, but for all its wireless competitors. Unless this action is taken, it is likely that the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger will never occur.”

Sam Rodriguez, the chair of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference on behalf of 40,000 Latino churches in the U.S., said, “We commend FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez for her investigation of T-Mobile. But we wish to call attention to a larger problem affecting our nation’s almost 60 million Latinos, many of whom speak Spanish, and a disproportionate percentage of whom fear deportation if they complain to any government official. Specifically, the FTC has failed to identify the very specific T-Mobile cramming actions that were taken against the Latino community and other low-income communities. Therefore, the FTC must put in place very specific refund and monitoring policies to eliminate cramming, particularly amongst our most vulnerable communities.”

Faith Bautista, on behalf of the National Asian American Coalition, which has filed many unfair practice complaints on behalf of 20 million Asian Americans with the FTC and the FCC, said, “On behalf of 20 million Asian Americans, particularly new immigrants, those with English language barriers, and the millions that do not complain because of fear of adverse government action, we urge the FTC to follow the CFPB principles of automatic refunds, as the CFPB implemented in four major credit card cases, and a special investigation of T-Mobile’s targeting of vulnerable communities.”

Local Homeowners, Churches and Small Business Organizations Oppose Former Secretary of Treasury’s Geithner’s Speech at the Commonwealth Club

May 20, 2014

Chairman Tom Wheeler

Commissioner Mignon

Clyburn Commissioner Michael O’Rielly

Commissioner Ajit Pai

Commissioner Jessica  Rosenworcel

Federal  Communications  Commission 445 12th  Street, SW

Washington, DC 20554

 

Concerns about So-­‐Called Competitive Mergers: A Need to Step Back in Context of Net Neutrality

 Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly, Pai and Rosenworcel,

This letter is written on behalf of a broad range of minority organizations that have previously filed comments expressing opposition to the proposed Comcast-­‐Time  Warner  merger  and  have submitted initial comments in the past on net neutrality and spectrum auction sales in the context of the public interest. These parties have also met during the week of April 7th with four of the commissioners and/or their senior staff on net neutrality and the proposed Comcast-­‐Time Warner merger, as well as on an expedited conversion, if it serves the public interest of the underserved, from landlines to wireless. The groups are the National Asian American Coalition, the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies, the Orange County Interdenominational Ecumenical Council, COR Community Development Corporation,  COR  AME  Church  of  Irvine,  Jesse Miranda  Center  for Hispanic Leadership, National Hispanic Leadership Conference, COR AMR Church of Irvine, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese American Institute for Empowerment.

The proposed AT&T acquisition of DirecTV for almost $49 billion appears to be partly motivated by a corporate perspective that (a) the proposed Comcast-­‐Time Warner merger will be approved, (b) it is likely that such approval will also ensure the approval of a future Sprint-­‐T Mobile acquisition and (c) a certainty that such will require other approvals of potential mergers, such as Charter Communications acquiring other cable companies.

Further, the issues surrounding net neutrality are too important to be obscured at this time by any mergers. Net neutrality decisions are likely to affect a broad range of potential competition, including the possibility that Silicon Valley companies, such  as  Google,  Apple  and  Facebook,  may more vigorously compete with telecommunications companies, both directly and indirectly.

We are not at this time taking any position regarding  the  proposed  AT&T-­‐DirecTV  acquisition, except to note that it would be best if all pending mergers, such as the Comcast-­‐Time  Warner proposal, were put on the back burner. For example, a six-­‐month hiatus would allow the FCC to concentrate on net neutrality issues and complete its first round on the spectrum auctions.

All of the above organizations will within the next two weeks provide initial comments on the net neutrality proposal, including, if necessary, comments on  the  impact  of  proposed  net  neutrality rules in the context of AT&T’s commitment on net neutrality, should it acquire DirecTV.

These comments will also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the antitrust division of the Department of Justice.

Most respectfully submitted,

 

    /s/ Mark Whitlock                                        

Mark Whitlock

Executive Director, Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies

Chair, Orange County Interdenominational Ecumenical  Council

Chair, COR Community Development Corporation

Senior Minister, COR AME Church, Irvine, CA

/s/ Faith Bautista                                          
Faith Bautista

President and CEO, National Asian American  Coalition

    /s/ Jesse Miranda                                            

Jesse Miranda

Founder, Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership

Former CEO, National Hispanic Christian Leadership  Conference

/s/ Sam Rodriguez                                         
Sam Rodriguez

President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership  Conference

    /s/ Charles Dorsey                                         

Charles Dorsey

Associate Pastor (Youth and Young Adults), COR AME Church, Irvine, CA

 /s/ Gilbert Vasquez                                        
Gilbert Vasquez

Chairman, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce

    /s/ Theresa Martinez                                     

Theresa  Martinez

CEO, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce

  /s/ Cathy Zhang                                             
Cathy Zhang

Executive Director, Chinese American Institute for Empowerment

    /s/ Robert Gnaizda                                         

Robert Gnaizda

General Counsel, Aforementioned Groups

 /s/ Mia Martinez                                           

Mia Martinez

Chief Deputy, National Asian American Coalition