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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding Banc One and First Chicago

Thursday, August 13, 1998

Transcript of Panel Eight

         12       MR. BUZZA:  I am John Buzza, Pastor of Hope
         13   Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois.  I am
         14   here as a part of the Central Illinois Organizing
         15   Project, and I am here because I care about my
         16   city.
         17            A busload of us from Central Illinois have
         18   come here because we are deeply concerned about the
         19   proposed merger between Banc One and
         20   First Chicago.
         21            Banc One has an extremely poor record of
         22   making loans to low and moderate income residents
         23   in Central Illinois.
         24            I would like you to look at this map
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          1   showing the 1996 aggregate owner-occupied housing
          2   loans made in the city where I live, Springfield,
          3   Illinois.
          4            The census tracts in solid red received
          5   less than $100,000 per tract.  Those outlined in
          6   red received only slightly more.  By contrast, the
          7   solid green tracts received loans between 1.5 and
          8   $3 million per tract.  My city is only as healthy
          9   as its least healthy neighborhood, and Census Tract
         10   14 got no loans last year at all.
         11            Home ownership improves property, improves
         12   value, improves people's lives, and Banc One has
         13   chosen to eliminate home ownership and home
         14   improvement from whole sections of our city.
         15            In addition, Banc One's record of loans to
         16   African Americans is reprehensible and
         17   indefensible.  In 1996, Banc One under performed in
         18   the market to African Americans in the following
         19   areas:  Home mortgages, home improvement loans and
         20   refinancing.
         21            Our point here today is to let you know
         22   that what is happening in Milwaukee is not
         23   happening in Central Illinois, and we would like a
         24   meeting with Mr. John McCoy to help facilitate how
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                       CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - (312) 263-0052
          1   Banc One can help in 1999 in Central Illinois.
          2            I thank you for your time.
          3       MS. SMITH:  Thank you very much.
          4            Mr. Heuerman.
          5       MR. HEUERMAN:  Jack Cramer-Heuerman.  I'm a
          6   United Methodist pastor from Champaign-Urbana,
          7   Illinois, also a part of the same organization, and
          8   I wish to address some remarks related to the
          9   Community Reinvestment Act.
         10            The Central Illinois Organizing Project
         11   has had an initial meeting with Banc One related to
         12   the Community Reinvestment Act in terms of some
         13   particular proposals for communities in
         14   Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, Springfield,
         15   Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  We presented
         16   some needs, looking again for that kind of valued
         17   corporate partner sort of unique in creative use of
         18   the Community Reinvestment Act funds, working
         19   cooperatively to address some basic human needs.
         20            It's our understanding that the Community
         21   Reinvestment Act has a standard that those funds
         22   need to benefit low income persons, and all of our
         23   proposals certainly meet that standard.
         24            What we talked about in Bloomington-Normal
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          1   is a project called Partners for Community that
          2   addresses the domestic violence issue from the side
          3   of working men in particular involved in the
          4   domestic violence issues, a neighborhood health
          5   clinic in Springfield, Illinois again in some of
          6   those census tracts underserved in a number of ways
          7   that would particularly address the low and
          8   moderate income person's health needs in their
          9   community and access nearby to those, in
         10   Champaign-Urbana, the Center for Women in
         11   Transition that deals specifically with women and
         12   children transitioning from homelessness to
         13   self-sufficiency.  These are basic human needs that
         14   can be met through the Community Reinvestment Act,
         15   housing, health, safe neighborhoods.
         16            We know that Banc One has worked with the
         17   Arizona Diamond Backs stadium for leisure activity,
         18   and we celebrate, and we also want to work together
         19   as that corporate partner addressing basic human
         20   needs.
         21            Thank you.
         22       MS. SMITH:  Thank you.
         23            Mr. Matejka.
         24       MR. MATEJKA:  Thank you.  Good morning.  My
                         McCORKLE COURT REPORTERS, INC.
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          1   name's Mike Matejka, Second Ward Alderman for
          2   Bloomington, Illinois, also with the AFLCIO in the
          3   city.
          4            I appreciate your patience here today
          5   because I've sat in that chair.
          6            I brought a few props with me.  Brought my
          7   money bag.  This is from Marine Bank which is
          8   Banc One which is American State Bank.  As we know,
          9   those banks merge all the time because that's what
         10   it's all about, two-and-a-half-by-six-inch strips
         11   of paper.
         12            If we've got these
         13   two-and-a-half-inch-by-six-inch green strips, we
         14   can do a lot, but if we don't have these things, we
         15   can't get very far in this society.
         16            According to the government, you would
         17   characterize me as a low to moderate
         18   European-American living in a slum-like area.
         19   That's what I'm characterized as in this society.
         20            Let me tell you about that slum-like area
         21   I live in.  It's actually an area of single family
         22   homes racially integrated where people go to work
         23   every day and do their jobs and we can get these
         24   strips of green paper to take care of ourselves,
                         McCORKLE COURT REPORTERS, INC.
                       CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - (312) 263-0052
          1   take care of our families, to buy gas, to feed our
          2   families, but we need help when we want to buy a
          3   home and when we want to improve a home, and
          4   Banc One is not there to help us in that process.
          5            When I look at statistics under the
          6   Community Reinvestment Act of what Banc One does in
          7   Bloomington, Illinois, it's pretty disappointing.
          8   I look at 1996, and I see that 272 affluent white
          9   families got loans but only ten African American
         10   families could get a loan, and of those ten African
         11   American families, only one was a low income family
         12   or two of those were low income families who got
         13   less than $14,000 from Banc One.
         14            Our area is a prosperous area.  State Farm
         15   Insurance is there, and Banc One moved its market
         16   ratio from four percent to nine percent in 1995 and
         17   '96, but at the same time, they quit giving loans
         18   in my area.  We went from 79 loans to 54 loans, but
         19   they more than doubled their loans in the affluent
         20   areas of town.
         21            We're asking Banc One not to shut out the
         22   working class family, not to shut out us folks
         23   characterized as low to moderate income folks
         24   living in a slum-like area.  Give us access to
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          1   credit to.
          2            And the pattern from Banc One in the last
          3   few years is to shut us out of the process.  We
          4   want them involved, want them involved in our
          5   neighborhoods, and we are here to protest this
          6   merger until we see the Community Reinvestment Act
          7   is going to be lived up to.
          8            I thank you for your time today.
          9       MR. ERICKSON:  I'm pleased to share my view of
         10   what's a real concern on my part.  I'm Reverend
         11   Joel Erickson, Pastor at Resurrection Lutheran
         12   Church in Bloomington.
         13            And my concern is where are the people
         14   from Banc One?  I just want to know is there anyone
         15   from Banc One here?  Is there anyone from Banc One
         16   here?
         17            Okay.
         18            We'd like to say that the question that we
         19   have asked as we have negotiated and wanted to talk
         20   to the people of Banc One is we want to know where
         21   John McCoy is, Mr. McCoy.  We wanted to speak to
         22   him because in our negotiating with National
         23   Citicorp we challenged the merger of National
         24   Citicorp with First of America, and as a result of
                         McCORKLE COURT REPORTERS, INC.
                       CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - (312) 263-0052
          1   that challenge, Dave Deberco, the CEO of that bank,
          2   came and talked to us along with Danny Cameron, the
          3   Vice President.  We know them personally, we've
          4   talked about them, and we value that relationship,
          5   and we've built a relationship with them.
          6            And we're wondering where is the CEO from
          7   Banc One because what's necessary is for us to
          8   develop a relationship because we're the ones that
          9   own the homes, we're the ones that live on the
         10   streets, we're the ones that buy the groceries.
         11   This is our community, and we want a relationship
         12   with the leaders of this bank.  And there's been no
         13   talk.  And we need to make those kinds of
         14   connections.
         15            And we have a good relationship and do
         16   know Dave Deberco and Danny Cameron of NCC, and
         17   they're doing fine. They've not suffered as a
         18   result of our relationship.  We have a good
         19   relationship with them, and that's what we're
         20   expecting from Banc One.
         21            You notice we have a wanted poster for
         22   Mr. John McCoy.  Why doesn't this man want to meet
         23   us?  We want to meet with him, we want to talk with
         24   him and express the concerns that have been shared
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          1   here at this table, and we want a good relationship
          2   where we can build a community that's positive
          3   because we're the ones living in the local
          4   communities.
          5            Our concerns is as the mergers take place,
          6   people move further away from our community, and we
          7   represent Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, Springfield,
          8   Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, this whole region.  Its
          9   concern is that we reach out and respond to the
         10   needs of a community, and that's where we're coming
         11   from is our own local community.
         12            So we hope to see Mr. John McCoy present
         13   with us, talk with us, and then we'll see whether
         14   that bank is really one that's desired to be
         15   connected with the community of our region.
         16            And we're very thankful, very privileged
         17   that we have an opportunity to express this
         18   concern.
         19            As a Pastor of a local congregation of 500
         20   members, I want you to know it matters to us that
         21   organizations such as banks are responsive to the
         22   local community.
         23            Thank you very much.
         24       MR. ALVAREZ:  A question for Reverend Buzza.
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                       CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - (312) 263-0052
          1            You showed us your chart.  I'm not
          2   familiar with the Springfield area.  Could you
          3   explain a bit about the census tracts?
          4            The ones, for example, that received no
          5   loans, what characteristics are those?
          6       MR. BUZZA:  They are primarily the ones in the
          7   center of Springfield occupied primarily by low and
          8   moderate income families, and most of our ethnic
          9   minority families live in those census tracts.
         10            The only public housing area is in Census
         11   Tract -- Rudy, help me -- 15.
         12       AUDIENCE MEMBER:  12 or 14.
         13       MR. BUZZA:  And the area around the outside is
         14   the fast growing area particularly to the west side
         15   and down in the corner here around what is Lake
         16   Springfield.  Census Tract 31 is where the figures
         17   are 1.5 to $3 million of loans in that tract.
         18       MS. WILLIAMS:  I'm sorry.  I have a question.
         19            Can you say the level of home ownership in
         20   those tracts that got no loans, and also could you
         21   describe if there's like home sales, because I'm
         22   not as familiar with Springfield as well?
         23       MR. BUZZA:  Well, this just has to do with the
         24   number of loans that Banc One made last year for
                         McCORKLE COURT REPORTERS, INC.
                       CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - (312) 263-0052
          1   mortgages, for home improvement and for refinancing
          2   and, it's by income in those areas, but those of us
          3   who live in Springfield also realize that the
          4   majority of our African American neighbors live in
          5   that central neighborhood that is either red or
          6   red-and-white striped.
          7            Have I answered your question?
          8       MS. WILLIAMS:  I guess as far as like the level
          9   of owner occupied, is that a 20 percent in that
         10   area or 40 percent or less?
         11       MR. BUZZA:  I'm not sure I know the answer in
         12   terms of statistics, but many of the homes in that
         13   area are now rental property and have been
         14   purchased by non-resident rental owners, and that
         15   is one of our great concerns because the upkeep of
         16   those houses does not match what homeowners do when
         17   they have the chance to own it themselves.
         18       MS. SMITH:  Thank you very much.
         19       MR. MATEJKA:  Could I ask our folks who came up
         20   with us, drove up with us today, to stand up?
         21       MS. SMITH:  Please.
         22            we had a panel this morning that didn't
         23   show up, unless they have come in.  I don't think
         24   they have.
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          1            Let me say the names in case there has
          2   been any confusion.  James Hall, Robert Hawhtorne,
          3   the Reverend Carey Long, Patrick Quinn, James
          4   Taylor.
          5            We will want if they come this afternoon
          6   to work them into the schedule, but we may want
          7   to -- would we want to start a little earlier than
          8   1:00?  We're scheduled to reconvene at 1:00.  If we
          9   have the next -- if we can either have or can
         10   construct a panel starting at a quarter of 1:00, we
         11   would like to do that.
         12            So those of you who are scheduled for a
         13   later panel but who are here now, you might check
         14   in with our registration people and see what we can
         15   do to work you up a little earlier into the
         16   schedule.
         17            So thank you very much.  We'll see you.
         18            I am supposed to announce to keep your
         19   name tags on so that you can get back into the
         20   conference center if you go out.
         21            Thank you.
         22                      (Whereupon, a short recess
         23                      was taken.)
         24       MS. SMITH:  I think we're ready to start with
                         McCORKLE COURT REPORTERS, INC.
                       CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - (312) 263-0052
          1   our next panel.  This is Panel 9, and we're going
          2   to start with Ms. Cannon.  You'll need to pull the
          3   mic.
          4       MS. CANNON:  Thank you.
          5       MS. SMITH:  I will -- in case -- well, let's
          6   see, since many of you drove -- were driving this
          7   morning, you didn't hear my announcements, but I
          8   will -- we have two timekeepers.  They will give a
          9   signal when you have one minute remaining and then
         10   they will hold up another card when your time has
         11   expired.
         12            Sometimes you might try looking up every
         13   once in a while, but if you miss it, we'll give you
         14   a few extra seconds, but then we go to audio and
         15   we'll give you a little musical note.
         16       MS. CANNON:  That means you finished.
         17       REVEREND LONG:  In more ways than one.
         18       MS. SMITH:  So Ms. Cannon?
Last update: December 3, 2010