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Bank founded by Tom Steyer has long record of lawsuits against - low-income borrowers

Posted: Jan 26th, 2020 - 12:33 pm

In one of his many campaign ads airing across California, presidential candidate Tom Steyer has touted the work of a nonprofit-owned bank he founded, portraying it as a counterweight to Wall Street corruption.

But while the Oakland-based institution has a well-regarded record of making socially responsible investments, its auto loan program has left behind a long trail of defaults and lawsuits against low-income borrowers in the state, a Bay Area News Group review of financial and legal documents found.

Beneficial State Bank — which Steyer co-founded with his wife, Kat Taylor, and served as board chairman until joining the presidential race in July 2019 — has filed lawsuits and won court judgments against 1,800 borrowers who fell behind on their payments over the past three-and-a-half years, out of more than 22,000 total loans, according to court records and data provided by bank executives.


A new kind of bank

Steyer, who made his $1.6 billion fortune through a San Francisco hedge fund, started Beneficial — originally named OneCalifornia — with Taylor in 2007. The purpose, they say, was to show how a bank with a public mission could serve as a tool for social good, just as the financial collapse was shaking public confidence in Wall Street.

Read more at mercurynews.com ...

LINK/URL: Bank founded by Tom Steyer has long record of lawsuits against


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