The Justice Department, reviving a hotly contested standard for racial discrimination, slapped a record $9 million fine on Albank Financial Corp. Wednesday for allegedly shunning minority communities in its lending.

The case, which the Albany, N.Y.-based thrift company settled, marks the first time in three years that the government has imposed fair-lending sanctions for alleged redlining. Most fair-lending cases have focused on pricing and underwriting, rather than on the geographic scope of marketing.

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