Providence drops lawsuit against Santander Bank alleging discriminatory lending practices

Santander Bank has agreed to give $1.3 million in grants to support low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Providence to resolve a lawsuit filed by the city.

The city sued in federal court in May, alleging the institution engaged in discriminatory lending practices by deliberately limiting its lending in minority neighborhoods while expanding in predominantly white areas.

Mayor Angel Taveras says it will benefit the city more to have Santander as a partner than an adversary. The city dropped the lawsuit and announced the grants this week.

The bank, a subsidiary of Spain's Banco Santander SA, agreed to contribute to financial literacy programs, a mixed-use development project and a program to award grants for mortgage down payments and closing costs.

Santander says it looks forward to working with the city to strengthen the community.