15,000 Americans Tell Federal Reserve “No Thanks” to CIT Group and OneWest Bank Merger

Community Orgs deliver petitions

Advocates outside the Federal Reserve

On Monday, February 2, 2015, California community advocates along with Daily Kos, went to the Federal Reserve and delivered over 15,000 petitions of people who don’t want to see another Too Big To Fail bank created.  The advocates also delivered a letter to the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, signed by 51 state and national organizations, calling for hearings on the proposed Too Big to Fail bank merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank.

Delivering Petitions

Paul Hogarth, campaign director at the Daily Kos, hands a Federal Reserve representative 15,559 petitions, urging the Federal Reserve to reject the proposed merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank.

The petition was signed by over 15,000 people.  Some of their comments are included in the slide-show below.

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Wondering why people are concerned about the merger?

Here’s a few reasons:

Regulatory capture: The Propublica/This American Life story about regulator capture heightened concerns about the Federal Reserve coddling the banks it is charged with regulating. Advocates believe this merger is the first test-case for the Federal Reserve to demonstrate that it prioritizes communities and taxpayers over banks and Wall Street.

Communities paying for bank mistakes: In addition to the $13 billion price tag for IndyMac’s failure, advocates are also concerned about the cost shouldered by local California governments for an estimated 35,000 OneWest foreclosures, the $2.3 billion in TARP funds that CIT Group accepted and never paid back, and CIT Group’s plan to reduce its taxes after the merger by using its Net Operating Loss from its 2009 bankruptcy.

Outsized executive compensation: Despite a proposed Community Benefit and Reinvestment plan that would rank the new bank near the bottom of its peers, the proposed merger includes generous compensation for bank officers and investors. The new bank’s CEO would receive $12.5 million in restricted stock in addition to his $4.5 million annual salary. The Executive Vice Chairman could collect his $4.5 million annual salary for part-time work, as he would also be allowed to continue running his hedge fund.

For more information, visit CRC’s “OneWest and CIT Group Merger Resource Page.”

3 thoughts on “15,000 Americans Tell Federal Reserve “No Thanks” to CIT Group and OneWest Bank Merger

  1. Don’t let this sale of Indymac Bank /One West Bank to Citi…..I have paid a lawyer since 2009 over 37000. to fight these crooks…recently squirmed and sold my mortgage to Ocwen. We know all about their illegal exploits….make them take responsibility for the people they hurt for Monetary gain. Why should George Soros be allowed to profit illegally especially when he made so many suffer…..DONT LET THEM OFF THE HOOK UNTIL THEY MAKE RIGHT THEIR FRAUD !

    • Hello, we hope you’ve shared your experience with OneWest Bank with the Federal Reserve and the OCC? Here’s their email address, and along with a public hearing, the regulators also extended the deadline for public comment until 2/26.

      If you are in Los Angeles and would like to weigh in on the merger, there is a public hearing being held on February 26th. All persons wishing to testify at the public meeting must submit a written request no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on February 20, 2015. A request to testify may be sent by mail to: Scott Turner, Vice President, Community Engagement, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105; by e-mail to: sf.community.development.info@sf.frb.org; or by facsimile: 415-977-4011.

      If you can’t make the hearing, but want to share your views, the comment period on this merger has been extended until February 26, 2015. You can send an email to: comments.applications@ny.frb.org and WE.Licensing@occ.treas.gov. If you have personal experiences with OneWest Bank, CIT Group, or Financial Freedom, it is probably a good idea to mention that in your email.

  2. Pingback: California Reinvestment Coalition Reminds IndyMac, OneWest Bank, and Financial Freedom Customers and Former Customers about Public Hearing on Feb 26th in Los Angeles – Press Release Rocket

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