Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Louisville-Based Republic Unmasked

Although it is small, a Courier-Journal report out today details part of Louisville-based Republic Bank's strategy of fleecing the poorest citizens through high-fee and high-interest loans. Read it HERE.

Many residents of Louisville do not know that Republic Bank is the official bank of the Louisville Metro Government. They also do not know that on December 1st, 2008, while everyone was freaking out about the service cuts in city government, Mayor Jerry Abramson quietly appointed Steve Trager to the Louisville Regional Airport Authority board. Trager is CEO of Republic Bancorp. Republic was in the national news recently when it was revealed that nearly half of it's profits came from predatory-lending schemes like payday loans and advance tax refund loans, sometimes costing the consumer as much as 400%. Read about the way Republic conducts business by clicking HERE.

In 2004, Mayor Abramson hired Republic Bank to be the sole provider of general banking services for Louisville Metro Government and government employees. That contract lasts until 2009. Republic Bank sponsor's the Mayor's "Music in the Metro" series, and just recently, gave a discounted mortgage to Elaine Chao, the wife of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, for their home in Washington, D.C. Previously, blogger Mark Nikolas has stated the McConnells "secured a 4.625% rate from Republic Bank on a 15-year fixed mortgage on their home in Washington, DC in 2003. This was the second re-finance on the property. The original loan had a rate of 6.25% in 1999 and was re-financed in 2002 for 5.5%".

One must wonder if Republic's request for the change from "bank" to "trust" is a ploy to get around the FDIC regulations. In this case, I think you know my opinion. Read up on this subject. There is no telling what it is costing you at the city level.


  1. From what I understand Republic is no longer the bank of Metro Louisville, at least as far as payroll.

  2. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5353/is_/ai_n21349280

  3. Sounds like another local bank that needs to have the people's money withdrawn and go into the pockets of more scrupulous lenders. A very eye opening piece in the CJ. Interesting that it took them more time than it did for Barrons to know what was going on.

    I think that its time to ask exactly what Republic and the Trager family have been doing. Sounds like loan sharking in my opnion.