Raleigh – The North Carolina Democratic Party today filed a request with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Freedom of Information Act following a bombshell WRAL investigation found that Congressman George Holding (NC-02) repeatedly voted to relax regulations on a bank that he and his family have a personal financial stake in and that has been under investigation by HUD for discriminatory lending practices. Read the full FOIA request here.
According to WRAL, Congressman Holding has used his time in office to make it more difficult to enforce fair housing claims after HUD filed a complaint against First Citizens Bank & Trust for allegedly denying mortgage loans to African-American, Latino, and Asian-American applicants at “disproportionally higher” rates than white applicants. During that time, First Citizens Bank has given thousands of dollars to Congressman Holding’s campaigns.
The investigation raises questions that, at best, are serious ethics concerns and, at worst, signal potential corruption to help enrich himself and his family and undermine federal investigators who charged his family’s bank with skirting lending laws.
Specifically, Rep. Holding has voted repeatedly to weaken the Fair Housing Act and to undermine federal oversight and investigation into discriminatory housing practices; earlier this summer, he voted for the Financial CHOICE Act, which significantly scaled back or eliminated many of the Dodd-Frank post-crisis banking rules.
Rep. Holding has between $1 million and $5 million in stock in First Citizens Bank, which has also contributed to his 2012 and 2014 reelection campaigns. His family has a controlling interest in the bank, and his cousin, Frank Holding Jr., is the CEO of First Citizens Bank.
“Congressman Holding has used his perch on Capitol Hill to roll back fair lending regulations, making it easier to personally enrich himself and his family while making it harder for his cousin’s bank and other banks to be held liable if they refuse applicants based on the color of their skin,” NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin said. “These are serious ethics and moral concerns, and the public deserves to know whether their Congressman is in office to look out for them, or for himself and his family.”