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Detroit Committee for Responsible Banking Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR001587
The Detroit Committee for Responsible Banking Records document the efforts of the committee to bring attention to redlining practices of banks in the city of Detroit. They reflect a multi-faceted approach, including direct correspondences with banking officials, protests to state and federal banking oversight institutions, correspondence with various news media, and collaboration with other organizations. The records also reflect the group’s continued relationship with Comerica, extending through the bank’s attempt to build a new headquarters on the Detroit Riverfront in 1991. The materials in the collection include correspondences, acquisition and merger applications, mortgage and home improvement loan statements; Community Reinvestment Act files; bank publications, notes, news clippings, and related reports.

Important Subjects: Ad Hoc Coalition on Fair Banking Practices in Detroit Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U. S.) Branding (Marketing) Comerica Incorporated Community activists Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking Detroit Area Reinvestment Alliance Detroit Committee for Responsible Property Management Detroiters for Community Banking Discrimination in mortgage loans Discrimination in mortgage loans—Law and legislation—United States First Federal of Michigan First of America Bank Corporation Grand Bancshares (Dallas, Texas) Home improvement loans Manufacturers Bank (Detroit, Mich.) Michigan. Financial Institutions Bureau Michigan National Bank (Detroit, Mich.) Mortgage loans National Association for the Advancement of Colored People National Bank of Detroit Redlining Standard Federal Bank Tax remission United States. Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 Urban Development

Important Names: Bush, James A. Edwards, James M. Garavaglia, James Johnson, Arthur L., 1925- Kuthy, Eugene Miller, Eugene A. Murphy, Raymond M. Murray, Patrick J. Parker, Bernard Riegle, Donald W., 1938- Waterston, James R.
Series Description: Series I: Financial Institutions, 1982-1993

Subseries A: Comerica Incorporated, 1983-1993 CRA files, reports, and plans; applications for acquisitions, protests, correspondences, home loan disclosure statements, notes.

Subseries B: First of America, 1989 Marketing materials.

Subseries C: First Federal of Michigan, 1988 Correspondence.

Subseries D: Manufacturers’ National Bank, 1988 Correspondences and publication.

Subseries E: Michigan National Bank, 1990 Report.

Subseries F: National Bank of Detroit, 1982-1992 Correspondences, CRA drafts and plans, notes, marketing materials, clippings.

Subseries G: Standard Federal, 1983-1989 Application for merger, correspondences, protest, CRA performance reports and plan drafts, marketing materials, clippings.

Series II: Subject Files, 1976-1991 General notes, correspondences, and clippings; related local and national community organizations and causes; conference notes; research reports.

Dates

  • 1976 - 1993
  • Majority of material found within 1987 - 1991

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (3 SB)

Abstract

The Detroit Committee for Responsible Banking (DCRB) grew out of awareness that banks in Detroit were under-funding city development while frequently supporting development in suburban areas. The DCRB was formed by James M. Edwards and Patrick J. Murray, both Detroit lawyers, and backed by an advisory board of community members. Initially, they focused their efforts on one bank – Comerica – and later went after Standard Federal, National Bank of Detroit, Manufacturers Bank, First of America, Michigan National Bank, and First Federal of Michigan.

The Detroit Committee for Responsible Banking Records document the efforts of the committee to bring attention to redlining practices of banks in the city of Detroit. They reflect a multi-faceted approach, including direct correspondences with banking officials, protests to state and federal banking oversight institutions, correspondence with various news media, and collaboration with other organizations. The materials in the collection include correspondences, acquisition and merger applications, mortgage and home improvement loan statements; Community Reinvestment Act files; bank publications, notes, news clippings, and related reports.

History

The Detroit Committee for Responsible Banking (DCRB) grew out of awareness that banks in Detroit were under-funding city development while frequently supporting development in suburban areas. The DCRB was formed by James M. Edwards and Patrick J. Murray, both Detroit lawyers, and backed by an advisory board of community members. Initially, they focused their efforts on one bank – Comerica – and later went after Standard Federal, National Bank of Detroit, Manufacturers Bank, First of America, Michigan National Bank, and First Federal of Michigan. When Comerica applied for an acquisition of a Toledo bank, which requires state and federal approval, the DCRB protested. The group argued Comerica had performed poorly under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which requires banks to meet the credit needs of the communities in which they reside. Comerica, the group argued, had a practice of taking deposits from Detroit and investing in suburban development much more than city development. The protest was dismissed in November of 1987, partly because Comerica had previously received a satisfactory CRA rating. Many criticized the enforcement of the CRA, as 98% of banks received satisfactory or outstanding ratings at that time.

The following year, Comerica applied to acquire Grand Bancshares, a Texas bank, and the DCRB again filed a protest. When they requested a copy of Comerica's acquisition application from the Financial Institutions Bureau of Michigan, DCRB also received, by mistake, a copy of Comerica's most recent CRA rating. At this time, individual bank ratings were supposed to have been kept confidential. Comerica's rating, given one month after the DCRB's last protest was dismissed, was a 3, or “less than satisfactory”. Eugene Kuthy, of the FIB, requested that the information be returned to his office as it was not supposed to have been released, and threatened legal action if the DCRB did not comply. For the DCRB, this confirmed the importance of the document they now had in their possession, and they shared the information with the Texas Department of Banking (home of Bancshares) and the media. When it came time for a public hearing before the FIB, Commissioner Kuthy delayed Comerica's acquisition until they took steps to improve their lending record.

The DCRB worked with other community organizations, including the Ad Hoc Committee for Fair Banking Practices in Detroit, to negotiate improved lending practices in the city. Despite initial resistance from the banks, eventually all sides reached an agreement. In 1991, Comerica received an “outstanding” CRA rating.

Arrangement

Arranged in two series – Series I: Financial Institutions (Box 1-2), and Series II: Subject Files (Box 2-3). Series I is further divided into seven subseries. Files in each subseries are arranged according to their original order to the extent possible and otherwise by type of material and then chronologically. Series II is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Acquisition

Acquired by the Walter P. Reuther Library on May 7, 1994.

Related Materials

Urban Environment Conference Records, New Detroit, Inc. Records, Detroit Commission on Community Relations/Human Rights Department Records

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Stefanie Caloia on June 21, 2011.
Title
Guide to the Detroit Committee for Responsible Banking Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Stefanie Caloia.
Date
2011-06-21
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA