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Trustmark National Bank redlined Black, Hispanic Memphis neighborhoods

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Attorney General Merrick Garland, accompanied by Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke, right, speaks at a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, where he announced that the Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.

Trustmark National Bank has redlined predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Memphis and should follow several initiatives to remedy the discrimination, federal officials alleged in a lawsuit and consent order filed Friday.

Redlining occurs when lenders refuse to provide services to people in non-white communities. It was banned by the Fair Housing Act. 

The suit, filed in the Western District of Tennessee, is brought against the bank by the United States of America and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and is part of a new federal effort to investigate and prosecute redlining.  

“Lending discrimination runs counter to fundamental promises of our economic system,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in prepared remarks Friday. “When people are denied credit simply because of their race or national origin, their ability to share in our nation’s prosperity is all but eliminated.”

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