Allegations of racist lending practices have been lodged at Wells Fargo, one of the country’s top financial institutions. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By Lauren Victoria Burke for NNPA, / @LVBurke on Twitter

American banking giant Wells Fargo has been accused of discriminatory lending practices. 

A lawsuit alleges that Wells Fargo denies home loans to Black borrowers at a higher rate and charges higher interest rates to Black borrowers.

“We are deeply disturbed by allegations of discrimination that we believe do not stand up to scrutiny,” Wells Fargo said in a news release on the matter. “These unfounded attacks on Wells Fargo stand in stark contrast to the company’s significant and long-term commitment to closing the minority homeownership gap.”

Attorney Ben Crump addressed the allegations against Wells Fargo on social media.

“Last month, it was reported that Wells Fargo approved ONLY 47 percent of Black homeowners’ mortgage applications compared to 72 percent of white applicants!” Crump wrote. “We are suing Wells Fargo to demand they CHANGE their practices that are killing Black homeowners’ opportunities!”

Wells Fargo is the largest bank mortgage lender in the U.S.

Ben Crump, who is mostly known for representing families of victims of police brutality, has now joined an existing lawsuit filed in February 2022 by Chris Williams. 

Williams is claiming that Wells Fargo sought to charge him a higher interest rate than his credit score called for. He is a Black homeowner living in Georgia. He refinanced with another mortgage company in 2019. Two other new plaintiffs also joined the suit.

“My credit score was just under 800 before I applied. They told me my credit score was 100 points less.” Williams told the media regarding his credit history.

On April 11, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Comptroller Brad Lander announced that the City will no longer deposit money with Wells Fargo and cited the alleged disproportionate denials of mortgages to Black loan applicants.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered.

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