California's biggest mortgage lenders made a total of 115,000 conventional home loans statewide in 1998 but just 400 in poverty-ravaged South Central Los Angeles, a nonprofit policy group complained Tuesday.

Seven of the eight banks and thrifts reviewed in a report by the San Francisco-based Greenlining Institute made fewer than 60 home loans last year in South Central, a 1.1 million-population section of Los Angeles. Wells Fargo & Co., for example, approved more than 21,700 mortgages for California homebuyers last year but just 22 in South Central, a ratio of about one in 1,000.

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