JP Morgan Chase accused of racial discrimination
US banking giant JP Morgan Chase has been accused by the US government of racial discrimination against thousands of mortgage borrowers.
The accusation, denied by JP Morgan, is in a document submitted to a federal court in Manhattan, New York.
It alleges the bank charged higher fees and interest rates to African-American or Hispanic borrowers for years.
Court filings said the offences took place between 2006 and 2009 and broke two US laws.
Those laws were the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
The US government alleges that the higher charges and fees were applied to ethnic minority mortgage borrowers who had the same credit scores as white home-buyers.
The lawsuit said the "discrimination has been intentional and wilful, and has been implemented with reckless disregard of the rights of African-American and Hispanic borrowers".
As a result, minority borrowers paid about $1,000 more for a loan than white borrowers, it is claimed.
According to CNBC, one of several US news outlets to report the lawsuit, the mortgages were arranged by independent brokers.
A bank spokesman told CNBC: "We deny any wrongdoing and remain committed to providing equal access to credit."
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