LABJ Interviews Manatt Division Chair on Coalition's Efforts to Increase Lending in Low-Income Communities

Activists' Protest on the Money
– Los Angeles Business Journal

The Los Angeles Business Journal interviewed Manatt's Gordon Bava, chair of the firm's Business, Finance and Tax division, for an article on an activist group that is pushing banks to do more lending in low-income neighborhoods.

The Los Angeles Business Journal reports that the California Reinvestment Coalition is currently holding up a merger that would create L.A. County's biggest bank in order to get the banks to commit to policies that would help low-income communities. The coalition is coming off a recent success in negotiating a similar plan with Irvine's Banc of California Inc., giving the group the confidence needed to take on two larger institutions.

Bava said the coalition has racked up several wins and that its biggest weapon might be its demonstrated ability to put the brakes on a transaction, which leaves banks susceptible to potential deal-killing swings in the market.

"They've generally been very successful in getting concessions from participants in M&A transactions," Bava said, "primarily because they have the ability to significantly slow down a transaction through the approval process."