April 15, 2009

NOT A BEACON, JUST A TOWER:

Black-owned bank has few urban loans: OneUnited sought aid as community 'beacon' (Beth Healy, April 15, 2009, Boston Globe)

Calling itself and other minority-owned banks a "rare beacon of hope" in their neighborhoods, OneUnited Bank of Boston last fall made an emotional plea to the US Treasury for help with millions of dollars in soured investments.

Without assistance, bank officials said, OneUnited and other institutions might fail. The money did not come right away. But with the aid of US Representatives Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, OneUnited secured meetings with the Treasury, and by December received $12 million from the government's bank bailout fund. [...]

Among the handful of home loans OneUnited has made in the past few years were several to wealthy businessmen for upscale properties in the South End, Brookline, and even on Martha's Vineyard.

In 2005 and 2006, OneUnited made only nine home mortgages in Massachusetts, according to a regulatory report, and in 2007 just three mortgages across its markets in Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami - two of those loans on multifamily properties - according to a banking consultant who reviewed the loan portfolio.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 15, 2009 7:51 AM
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