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Nixon State Bank Reaches Settlement Following Allegations of Lending Discrimination

U.S. Department of Justice Facebook

A southern Texas bank will pay a sizable sum as part of a settlement resolving allegations of lending discrimination.

Nixon State Bank will be required to establish uniform pricing policies, conduct employee training, and pay nearly $100,000 in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The complaint alleges that Nixon charged higher prices on unsecured consumer loans made to Hispanic borrowers, which violates the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Prior to mid-2009, the bank in Nixon, Texas, about 60 miles east of San Antonio, had no written pricing guideline for unsecured consumer loans, and granted broad discretion to the bank’s loan officers in handling all aspects of the unsecured consumer loan transaction. The Justice Department alleges that this policy has a negative impact on Hispanic borrowers.

Nixon State Bank will be required to pay back almost $100,000 to some Hispanic loan recipients, monitor its loans for potential disparities based on national origin, and provide equal credit opportunity training to its employees. The settlement is subject to court approval.

U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy commented on the case, saying “Any form of discrimination is intolerable, including in the lending of money. The rates consumers pay for credit should be based solely upon factors related to their creditworthiness without any reference to their race or ethnicity.”

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