California Reinvestment Coalition

Community Groups Push Fed to Block Capital One/ING Merger

Published October 04, 2011 12:00

“What’s Preying On Your Wallet?”
Press Conference and Testimony at Fed Hearing in San Francisco Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO –The California Reinvestment Coalition, the Greenlining Institute, and nearly 120 California community groups are urging the Federal Reserve Board to block the proposed merger of Capital One Bank and ING. The Fed will hold a hearing on the merger Wednesday at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and advocates will hold a press conference inside the building at 10:30 a.m. Spanish language speakers will be available.

WHAT: Press conference and testimony at the Federal Reserve
WHEN: Wednesday, October 5. Hearing at 8:30 a.m., press conference at 10:30. Media should arrive at least 15 minutes early to go through security.
WHO: Orson Aguilar, The Greenlining Institute; Alan Fisher, California Reinvestment Coalition; Martha Montoya, business owner and board member, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Rosemary Shahan, CARS (Consumers for Auto Reliability & Safety); Clarence Williams, California Capital; Ed Gorman, National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
WHERE: Federal Reserve, 101 Market Street, San Francisco; press conference in the Fed Center on the first floor.
VISUALS: “Wanted” poster featuring Capital One CEO Richard D. Fairbank. To view the poster click here
For a high-resolution version, click here

"Despite making more than 10 percent of its profits from California consumers, Capital One has refused to give back and invest in our communities,” said Alan Fisher, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. “While they offer high-priced products to reap profits, the bank otherwise ignores low income communities, with almost no loans to minority- and women-owned businesses, no philanthropy, and no affordable housing investment in the state."

“Capital One has a history of exploiting vulnerable communities,” said Greenlining Institute Executive Director Orson Aguilar. “They aggressively target low-income customers such as immigrants in the Central Valley with credit cards that have high interest rates and low credit limits. Then they charge late fees and raise interest rates, damaging their customers’ credit scores. Expansion of a company with this history of exploitation can’t be good for California.”

“Capital One is known for issuing small business credit cards instead of making traditional SBA loans, and that’s terrible for small business owners,” said Tunua Thrash, executive director of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation in Los Angeles. “In 2010, Capital One cut its SBA lending from $228 million to just $551,000. Compared to SBA loans, Capital One’s credit cards have higher interest rates and steep fees.”

"Around the country, individuals, small business and community organizations have testified in opposition to Capital One's acquisition of ING Direct,” said John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “This monoline credit card lender increases systemic risk through its credit card securitization practices, while creating no clearly significant public benefit. As it stands now, the Federal Reserve must block this acquisition under the provisions of Dodd-Frank."

Capital One, a leading subprime and often predatory credit card company, would become the nation’s fifth largest bank if the merger is approved.


Press contact: Kristina Bedrossian, California Reinvestment Coalition, 415-864-3980; Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022.

Advocating for fair and equal access to banking for low income communities and communities of color in California

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CRC has a membership of over 300 nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the State.