On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Wigdor LLP filed a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit on behalf of Xin Wang against China Merchants Bank Co. Ltd. (“CMB”), one of the largest banks in China.
The lawsuit alleges that CMB declined to approve a commercial loan involving Harlem real estate for the stated reason, in writing, because “the African population is more concentrated” in that neighborhood. U.S. federal law strictly forbids banks from considering the racial qualities of a neighborhood in lending decisions under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”).
Ms. Wang filed numerous verbal and written complaints with CMB’s Human Resources department and the bank’s upper management, according to the Complaint. Ms. Wang was terminated five days after she escalated her complaint to the bank’s Chief Legal Officer.
Below are just some additional examples of the “deeply-embedded culture” of unlawful discriminatory conduct at CMBNY, as alleged:
- Among the 120 employees and executives at CMBNY, not a single one is African American;
- CMB explicitly states on its online job postings for all 175 open positions that eligible applicants must be under 35 years old;
- CMBNY operates within a caste-system, where Chinese citizens suffer little to no discipline for violating company policy or engaging in misconduct.
- Approximately 75 percent of CMBNY’s employees are Chinese citizens;
- Out of the 17 department heads and executives at CMBNY, 14 are Chinese citizens;
- CMBNY employs White American employees in positions that interact with the public and with financial regulators to hide the fact that most of the Bank’s employees are Chinese citizens; and
- Employees at CMBNY who are not Chinese citizens are regularly discriminated against and unfairly targeted through unwarranted internal investigations.
Wigdor LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Xin Wang alleging that China Merchants Bank engaged in a pattern of discriminatory conduct towards the African-American community, then terminated Ms. Wang for raising complaints about the Bank's racist behavior. https://t.co/Fpp1a6nMBg
— Wigdor Law (@WigdorLaw) May 8, 2018
Statement from Wigdor LLP Partner David E. Gottlieb:
“While there is no place in society for racist stereotypes and discrimination, this is particularly the case for financial institutions that hold access to capital, growth and development. China Merchants Bank’s blatant discrimination and then retaliation against Ms. Wang when she raised complaints about this conduct is simply reprehensible.”