Letter Bryant



Not opposed to bank deal

In regard to your article “Community groups pressure Ahmanson on inner-city lending” (March 3), allow me to further outline a few important points:

1. Operation Hope Inc. is not “at issue” with the Greenlining Institute, but generally supportive of the agenda of the Greenlining Institute. My comments relative to community groups referred to organizations and individuals that may not have a long-term perspective, or the long-term commitment, required to truly revitalize under-served communities. OHI and Greenlining, while working “different sides of the street,” share a genuine, long-term commitment to community progress and change within the banking industry.

2. OHI does not employ “antagonistic” strategy, but a partnership strategy. It is our mission to be the banker’s banker in and for underserved communities helping them serve communities that they are unable to serve, or do not desire to serve, directly.

3. The article left the impression that OHI opposes the proposed acquisition of Great Western. We do not oppose it, because of (Ahmanson unit) Home Savings’ track record, the interest of Home Savings in ensuring that proper financial services are provided to all communities, and the new reality of industry-wide consolidation in the banking industry.

4. The statement that I called (Ahmanson Chairman Charles) Rinehart “following the announcement” gave the impression that we were reflective of organizations with less than a long-term perspective. The fact is that we have been in dialogue with Mr. Rinehart since September 1996 about a business partnership in and for our underserved communities. Whether the acquisition occurs or not, we plan on doing business with each other.

John Bryant

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Operation Hope Inc.

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