The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has lifted a cease and desist order that 1st Mariner Bank has operated under since April 2009, the bank announced Monday.
The order required 1st Mariner to strengthen its fair lending practices because the FDIC suspected 1st Mariner of discriminating against Hispanic, black and female mortgage borrowers.
The bank charged some of these borrowers more than "similarly-situated" white and male borrowers in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the regulator said.
Under the order, which 1st Mariner consented to, the bank was required to develop a policy for monitoring mortgage lending to "detect unusual differences" in pricing and fees. A mortgage lending data collection and auditing policy was also demanded by the order, as were bank-sponsored financial literacy courses for consumers.
"The termination of the order acknowledges our success in meeting the FDIC's requirements for internal operations and controls over our regulatory compliance activities," said Mark A. Keidel, the bank's president and interim-CEO, in a statement. "We're pleased that we were able to have this order removed."
The bank is still operating under another cease and desist order that the FDIC issued in September 2009. That order requires the bank to "increase its regulatory capital," the bank said.
1st Mariner is continuing "its efforts to satisfy the provisions" of that order, Keidel said.
First Mariner Bancorp, the parent company of the bank, has total assets of $1.4 billion. The bank operates 21 branches in Maryland and has mortgage operations in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
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