Wintrust faces charges of bias against black borrowers

By Grace Dixon (May 26, 2022, 4:03 p.m. EDT) – Wintrust Financial Corp. and an affiliate have been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit in federal court in Illinois alleging the pair systematically discriminated against potential black borrowers, granting them fewer loans with worse terms compared to white applicants.

Kathleen Bankhead, who is black and a career attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, filed claims against Wintrust and Barrington Bank & Trust Co. NA on Wednesday, alleging that loan data that banks are required to disclose under federal law showed a clear nationwide pattern in which banks favored white applicants over black applicants.

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