For immediate release
Rhea Aguinaldo: (415) 449-1696 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Dilag: (650) 580-4812 / email@example.com
Rodel Rodis: (415) 218-9548 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Bautista: (650) 892-8469 / email@example.com
Asian American Protest Against Largest Chinese Government Bank
and Its Role in Financing Military Actions in the South China Sea
August 21, 2012
Bank of East Asia (ICBC)
1001 Grant Avenue in Chinatown, San Francisco
San Bruno, CA – Asian Americans representing most of the nations opposing China’s aggressive military actions in the South China Sea will be holding a press conference and protest at the branch of the Chinese Communist Party’s largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). (ICBC is both the Chinese government’s largest bank and the world’s largest bank with almost $3 trillion in assets.)
The protest is aimed at the direct and indirect financing of China’s military actions in the South China Sea by ICBC and its discriminatory practices in the United States. ICBC does not hire, make loans or invest with Asian Americans, Latinos or Blacks. This violates the Federal Reserve’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements and the anti-discrimination requirements in the Dodd-Frank Reform Bill.
US Pinoys for Good Governance (US4PGG) will be holding similar demonstrations on August 21st across the nation and are joined in this demonstration by the National Asian American Coalition (NAAC). The NAAC has filed a formal protest against ICBC for discrimination and violating the spirit and specifics of the Dodd-Frank Reform Bill and the Community Reinvestment Act. The groups will be joined by leaders from Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Burmese and other Asian American groups concerned about China’s aggressive military actions in the South China Sea and elsewhere.
ICBC, the world’s largest bank, has been reported by the Wall Street Journal to be considering acquiring the two largest Chinese American banks in the nation, East West Bank and Cathay Bank. These banks have $33 billion in assets and 175 branches.
ICBC is regulated by the Federal Reserve. The NAAC and USP4GG will be meeting with the Federal Reserve in DC during the week of September 10th to request an immediate investigation and to bar, for five years, ICBC from acquiring any additional banks such as East West Bank and Cathay Bank. (ICBC has already greatly expanded its banking influence throughout Europe.)
Last week, the Federal Reserve strongly chastised and downgraded JP Morgan Chase’s CRA rating as a result of community protests and Chase’s failures in lending, service and investments in minority and low income communities. ICBC could be the Federal Reserve’s next target.
Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the Chair of USP4GG, said, “Four million Filipino Americans and all of our 18 million Asian American allies will continue to protest China’s confrontational military tactics intended to steal vital energy resources from developing nations such as Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as from peaceful developed nations such as Japan and Taiwan. Once the Asian American community fully unites, China will be forced to negotiate under UN authority a peaceful resolution of over a hundred trillion dollars in energy resources within the so-called South China Sea areas.”
Rodel Rodis, the California Chair of USP4GG and a leader of the California protest, said, “We have the resources to topple the Chinese Government’s largest bank and we will do so unless ICBC and the Chinese Government make clear that they want a peaceful resolution in the South China Sea.”
Faith Bautista, the President and CEO of the NAAC, stated, “Our organization has stopped bank mergers in the past when banks refused to do business with Asian Americans and other minorities. At our meeting in DC during the week of September 10th with the Federal Reserve, we will show that ICBC has one of the worst CRA Programs in the nation and is in clear violation of the Dodd-Frank Reform Bill.”
Bautista added, “If ICBC wishes to be in a leader in banking in the U.S., it must help lead a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute. Further, it must end discrimination at its bank and develop a major fair lending and minority investment program that will ensure that all Asian Americans, Blacks, Latinos and other underserved communities can benefit from a Chinese Government-owned bank with almost $3 trillion in assets.” [ICBC is larger than Chase, Wells Fargo or Bank of America.]