BankPlus reverses decision to close Pickens branch after pressure from Thompson

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A Mississippi-based bank has reversed its decision to shut down one of its locations following pressure from a federal official.

On Friday, Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Treasury and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after BankPlus announced that it would be closing its Pickens branch.

Thompson has since confirmed to Jackson TV station WLBT over the weekend that BankPlus reconsidered and would be keeping the doors open in Pickens, a town with a population of 920.

The controversy was sparked when the representative addressed Treasurer Janet Yellen in a letter claiming that the bank’s decision to cease operations in the small community with a 92 percent Black population happened to be problematic, given that BankPlus had been given hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants to reinvest in low-income communities.

Pickens mayor Paulette Moore claimed that the bank’s reported closing would have created a huge burden on a large number of residents. She said that 40 percent of locals would have been without a reputable institution to make financial transactions without BankPlus.

Though the Mississippi bank will remain in operation in the small town, Thompson also addressed other concerns he had with the entity’s practices.

In the letter to Yellen, Thompson accused BankPlus of having a “questionable track record of lending to Black households.” He cited statistics from 2022 which revealed that 29 percent of the bank’s Black mortgage applicants in Holmes County were denied compared to 13 percent of their white counterparts.

BankPlus is also alleged to have created difficulties in the city of Pickens’ loan-seeking process, which Thompson said is a direct violation of their commitment to community development.

At this time, it is unknown whether or not any action will be taken against the bank.

The post BankPlus reverses decision to close Pickens branch after pressure from Thompson appeared first on SuperTalk Mississippi.