Recent OCC enforcements included $3M fine for GA bank over FHA violations

A $3 million civil money penalty was assessed against Cadence Bank, N.A., of Atlanta, Ga., in late August over findings that the bank engaged in violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and its implementing rules, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said in information released Thursday.

According to an Aug. 27 OCC consent order, from 2014 through 2016:

  • Cadence Bank did not provide equal credit access to residents seeking first-lien mortgage loans in majority-minority census tracts (MMCTs) and majority-Hispanic census tracts (MHCTs) in the bank’s Houston assessment area;
  • the bank’s disparate treatment was evidenced through the bank’s pattern of mortgage application and origination activity, branching history, mortgage loan officer (MLO) structure and operations, and marketing and advertising;
  • examiners found, among other evidence of disparate treatment, that the bank’s mortgage lending activity in MMCTs and MHCTs in its Houston assessment area was consistently statistically significantly lower than the lending activity of its peers, with only one of the bank’s 11 branches in its Houston assessment area located in an MMCT, and it primarily relied on MLOs to generate mortgage applications but did not have an MLO working in its MMCT branch as it did in other non-MMCT and non-MHCT branches.

The OCC included the Cadence Bank order and other enforcements in a list Thursday that also noted the $250 million civil money penalty and cease-and-desist order (both under consent) against Wells Fargo Bank this month over a reported failure to complete actions directed in a 2018 order.

Also noted in the Thursday release were:

  • a $40,500 civil money penalty against Washington Federal Bank, National Association, of Seattle, Wash., over federal flood insurance violations;
  • an order barring Tracy Rethwisch, former customer service representative at American National Bank of Minnesota, Baxter, Minn., from future service in any federally insured financial institution (the OCC said she misappropriated about $14,450 in cash from her teller drawer between Jan. 7, 2020, and March 13, 2020);
  • a termination of enforcement order with Patriot Bank, National Association, Stamford, Conn.; and
  • a formal agreement with Anna-Jonesboro National Bank, Anna, Ill.

OCC Enforcement Actions and Terminations