Advocates push for change in state banking law

May 22, 2011
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The Community Reinvestment Organizing Project is pushing a proposal to require Illinois banks that close, move or consolidate branch offices in low-income neighborhoods to notify the state.

State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford has filed an amendment to the State Deposits of Moneys Act that would require financial institutions that receive state deposits or investments on behalf of Illinois taxpayers to file the notice when planning to make changes at a branch office.

The “Branch Closing Notification Act” was drafted by the Community Reinvestment Organizing Project, a community reinvestment and public policy initiative of The Monroe Foundation, in response to concerns about plans of Urban Partnership Bank (formerly Shorebank) to close its branches in Austin and Bellwood later this year.

“Any bank that is a state depository and apparently decides that it wants to continue to receive taxpayer deposits but not have a commitment to a community any longer because its low-income should be be required explain how leaving the community is in the interest of the community and not the interest of its’ bottom-line,” said Rev. Lewis Flowers, chairman of the Westside Ministers Coalition.

For more information about joining the campaign to pass this amendment, contact Otis Monroe of The Monroe Foundation at 773-325-9720.

The Community Reinvestment Organizing Project is funded by a grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago.

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