Citizens Bank pays $115,000 for loan denial
HUD has reached a Conciliation Agreement with Philadelphia-based Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania and Providence, Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank, collectively known as Citizens Bank, settling allegations that the bank violated the Fair Housing Act when it told a female applicant that she would need to return to work before her application for a home equity line of credit could be approved. The woman filed a complaint alleging that Citizens Bank discriminated against her based on her familial status when it delayed the processing of her loan application because she was on maternity leave, despite the fact that she was receiving her full pay. Under the terms of the agreement, Citizens Bank will pay the woman $40,000, provide fair housing training to its staff, and adopt a parental leave policy making it clear that all loan products are to be made available, regardless of an applicant's parental status. Citizens Bank will also make a $75,000 donation to a HUD-approved fair housing or advocacy organization.
According to the published Agreement, Citizens Bank asserted that the bank's decision to decline the application was based only on the fact that the amount of income was insufficient and Complainant's sex or familial status played no role in the underwriting decision. Citizens Bank denied the allegations and admitted no liability or wrongdoing of any nature.