Rosenberg to Meet with L.A.'s Mayor
LOS ANGELES - Richard Rosenberg, chairman of Bank-America Corp., has agreed to meet with Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, who expressed reservations about the bank's pending merger with Security Pacific Corp.
The mayor, who asked for the meeting, expressed concern over BankAmerica's lending in minority communities, loss of jobs, and the effects on the commercial real estate markets in Los Angeles.
Low-Income Program Cited
"We recognize the concerns of Mayor Bradley, and we will schedule a meeting with him as soon as possible," the bank said. A spokesman pointed out that "Bank of America last week announced a 10-year low-income lending goal of $12 billion for the merged bank, a 33% increase in the existing CRA lending goals of the combined banks."
Citing recently disclosed data from the Federal Reserve on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Mr. Bradley said he is "concerned about Bank of America's high rate of denial of mortgages to minority residents." He said Bank of America's denial rate for minorities was over twice the citywide average.
Steps to Calm Fears
"We welcome the opportunity to provide the mayor with details about the lending program and how it will benefit lower-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles," BankAmerica said. The company is also meeting with various community groups to attempt to calm fears about the merger.
The mayor's letter expressed several other concerns. Mr. Bradley said he is worried about the vacancy of "a large amount of commercial office space currently occupied in downtown Los Angeles."
Analysts estimate that as many as 20,000 of the 94,000 employees of the combined bank will lose their jobs.