PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ The city of Providence has filed suit against Santander Bank alleging the institution engaged in discriminatory lending practices.


The suit filed in federal court Thursday claims that Santander has deliberately limited its lending in minority neighborhoods in Providence while expanding it in predominantly white areas.


Mayor Angel Taveras says many borrowers in minority neighborhoods qualify for prime loans but Santander has written them off. The suit says the city has suffered significant harm as a result because insufficient credit is suppressing home prices and preventing the rehabilitation of vacant properties.


The suit alleges the bank's ``disregard for majority-minority neighborhoods is part of a broader and intentional redlining strategy'' that is also being used in Boston and throughout New England.