Ameris Bancorp has settled Department of Justice claims that the Atlanta company violated fair lending laws in Jacksonville, Fla., from 2016 to 2021.
The $25.8 billion-asset Ameris said in a press release that its bank agreed to a consent order and will provide $7.5 million of mortgage subsidies over the next five years in majority Black and Hispanic markets.
The bank also committed $900,000 for focused advertising and outreach and $600,000 to community development partnerships.
“We strongly disagree with any suggestion that we have engaged in discriminatory conduct and are confident in our efforts to provide equal access to affordable mortgage products in the Jacksonville community and all the markets we serve,” Palmer Proctor, Ameris’ CEO, said in the release.
“We cooperated fully with the … inquiry and have entered into this settlement to avoid the distraction of litigation and because we share the [DoJ’s] goal of expanding access to homeownership in underserved areas,” Proctor added. “We condemn discrimination in any form and remain committed to helping people in underserved communities gain equal opportunity to achieve homeownership, as well as access to banking services.”
The settlement did not include a civil monetary penalty.