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Old National Bank hit with federal complaint alleging discrimination

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — According to a federal complaint against Old National Bank, only 45 of its over 2,550 mortgage loans between 2019 and 2020 went to Black borrowers. 

“We went through their numbers with them and the individuals at least that I met with did acknowledge that their data was not where it needed to be,” said Amy Nelson, the executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana.  

Two maps provided by the organization show the number of loans made to Black borrowers over a two year period compared to loans made to white customers during the same time. 

The practice is called red lining, which means keeping people of color inside certain geographical areas by limiting or outright refusing mortgages to Black people to buy homes in what are considered white neighborhoods.   

Currently, no victims have come forward. The Fair Housing Center tested Old National Bank by sending white and Black “testers” into branches.   

“We felt that even when prospective home seekers who are Black or African American got to an Old National mortgage office, they were not treated in the same way as prospective white home seekers,” said Nelson.

The federal complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center also says that Old National Bank deliberately closed branches in predominantly Black areas to focus their residential lending to white neighborhoods. 

“In 2010, they had 53 branches across the Indianapolis metropolitan area. By 2020, they were down to 21. In 2010, they 27 branches in Marion County. By 2020, it was nine, and those branches are in majority white areas,” said Nelson.

Old National Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.