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Oakland lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo of mortgage discrimination

NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The City of Oakland, California has sued Wells Fargo & Co, accusing the largest U.S. mortgage lender of steering minorities into high-cost mortgage loans that allegedly led to foreclosures, abandoned properties and neighborhood blight.

The complaint is a sign that U.S. municipalities are not relenting in a push to hold big banks liable for economic damages following the 2007 foreclosure crisis.

Similar lawsuits accusing banks of mortgage discrimination have been dismissed, though a federal appeals court in Florida recently gave three major cases new life by affirming cities' right to sue under the U.S. Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Filed on Monday in a Northern California federal court, the complaint against Wells seeks punitive damages for alleged FHA violations, accusing the bank of "putting its...