A shareholder of Bank One Corp. introduced a resolution this week that would require the Chicago-based company to increase its minority lending.
The Paul M. Hancock Trust, a family trust in upstate New York, offered the resolution on behalf of the activist group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Patrick Woodall, policy analyst for Acorn, said the group sought a stockholder vote because Bank One has high rejection rates for black and Hispanic loan applicants and has refused to develop a mortgage product tailored to them.
"We are having a great deal of trouble getting them to come to the table and negotiate a loan package," Mr. Woodall said. "This is just a bank that has absolutely no concern for the community."
Bank One officials have not yet seen the filing, spokesman Thomas A. Kelly said Tuesday. But he defended the firm's lending practices and said that federal regulators had historically given its banks outstanding or satisfactory community reinvestment ratings. "We invest in the people of those communities," he said. "We are proud of our record."
If the resolution were adopted, Bank One would have to develop a fair- lending program that would put it in the top 25% of lenders by percentage of mortgage, home improvement, small-business, and other loans to disadvantaged groups in each of its market areas.
Shareholders could end up voting on the measure at the annual meeting in May, though Bank One has the option of excluding it unless challenged by the Securities and Exchange Commission.