NAACP drops lawsuit against Wells Fargo

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The NAACP has dropped its racial discrimination lawsuit against Wells Fargo, the organization and the company said on Thursday.

"Wells Fargo and the NAACP have agreed to work constructively on ways to improve fair credit access, sustainable home ownership and financial literacy for communities of color and other historically disadvantaged communities," Wells Fargo and the NAACP said in a joint press release.

The NAACP said that Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) is just one of 14 financial institutions that it has sued since 2007 over allegations that these companies violated the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity acts. The other firms include JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Citibank (C, Fortune 500) and HSBC.

JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman Christine Holevas and HSBC spokeswoman Kate Durham both declined to comment.

Citibank spokesman Mark Rodgers said, in an e-mail, that his company considers each applicant "by the same objective criteria, which are blind to race, ethnicity, gender and any other prohibited means. These objective criteria include credit scores, loan to value ratios, debt to income and other key factors."

He said this allows Citibank "to set rates that are consistent with the risk profile of each borrower."

The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court in central California, accused the financial firms of giving subprime rates -- meaning higher interest rates -- to African-Americans who qualified for better rates.

When the NAACP first announced the lawsuits against HSBC and Wells Fargo in March 2009, they both denied the allegations. "We stand by our lending practices," Durham of HSBC told CNN at the time.

On Thursday, the NAACP said that it was seeking "to change mortgage lending industry behaviors," rather than financial compensation for the alleged victims of racial discrimination.

"We commend Wells Fargo for taking a leadership role by being the first to embrace our principles, and hope this effort becomes a model for collaborating with other financial institutions," NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a press release.

Jon Campbell, head of Wells Fargo's social responsibility group, said this was "the next constructive step forward in realizing our vision of helping all of our customers to further business ownership and promote financial empowerment." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 11:46pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Sponsors

Sections

Spencer has been a supporting member of the "Good Morning America" cast for the past three years. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.