On Wednesday, August 5th, regulators announced that Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank, and Bank of America had been caught in a probe over mortgage pricing discrimination. The investigation, led by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice, found potential evidence of racial and ethnic discrimination in mortgage pricing. According to the agencies, the investigation showed that the banks had charged higher fees and interest rates to certain minority borrowers when compared to non-minority borrowers who were similarly situated. The investigation reportedly covered mortgage data from 2004 through 2009.
The regulators said the banks had not admitted any wrongdoing, but they have agreed to take steps to address potential discrimination. Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank, and Bank of America have agreed to provide over $125 million in consumer relief to affected borrowers, and additional compensation will be determined in future discussions. The agencies are committed to ensuring that consumers receive equitable treatment in the mortgage market, and say they will continue to “take action against lenders that violate the law.”