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NR 2005-110
Contact: Dean DeBuck
(202) 874-5770

OCC Takes Action Against Bank and Subsidiary for Lending Practices

WASHINGTON -- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced today a Formal Agreement with The Laredo National Bank, Laredo, Texas, and its subsidiary, Homeowners Loan Corporation (HLC). 

The agreement requires HLC to strengthen its policies and control systems to ensure compliance with all applicable consumer protection laws, regulations and OCC guidance, including, but not limited to, section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  It also requires HLC to reimburse borrowers who were harmed by practices that occurred due to the lack of appropriate controls. 

The bank has since been acquired by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA). The bank's new owners shared the OCC's concerns and the directors of both the bank and HLC voluntarily entered into the agreement to ensure that appropriate changes are made and the affected borrowers are fully compensated. 

The bank has agreed to set aside at least $14 million to fund reimbursement payments to borrowers. The total amount of reimbursement paid out will depend upon the number of borrowers found to have been harmed pursuant to a process set out in the agreement, and will be subject to final review by the OCC.

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