Liu's Bank Shot

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From today's Heard Around Town:

* Just because City Comptroller John Liu's office voted against doing business with city banks last summer doesn't mean they aren't doing business with city banks. Liu's representative on the city Banking Commission, an obscure body that oversees city bank accounts, voted against three dozen routine approvals last July to protest the slow pace at which big banks are modifying mortgages for struggling homeowners. A peek into Liu's database of city contracts, however, shows those big banks are far from frozen out of city business. In December, for example, Liu's office approved a routine $1.2 million contract with JP Morgan Chase to mail out pension checks. Liu spokesman Michael Loughran called that an unfair comparison, saying the comptroller's office will always do business with banks, but used its leverage on the Banking Commission to urge them to treat New Yorkers better. Added Deputy Comptroller Ari Hoffnung, who serves on the commission: "Just because we take aggressive action against a vendor doesn't mean we can't sit at the table with them."

To read more from City and State click here.

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