Citizens to boost lending to African Americans in Detroit

Lender investing $3.6 million to settle DOJ discrimination charges

Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. has agreed to open a mortgage loan office in a majority African-American neighborhood in Detroit and invest $3.6 million in surrounding Wayne County to settle allegations that the bank served predominantly white neighborhoods in Detroit "to a significantly greater extent," the Department of Justice said.

A complaint the Justice Department filed against Citizens and Citizens Bank of Flint said that as the successor to Republic Bank, the companies violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibit mortgage lenders from discriminating on the basis of race and color.