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Community Members Call For Probe Into Banks

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Elected officials and activist groups are calling for a citywide probe into big banks.

They say the city lost billions of dollars due to fraudulent banking practices.

They're demanding the government hold big banks accountable for the business practices they say led to the economic collapse.

"We want a level of analysis and investigation into what these banks are costing New York City taxpayers," said Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.

"Working families underwater, that lost their life savings because of predatory lending right here in New York city and all across the country," said Councilman Stephen Levin. "And who made the money? Who did not suffer during those boom times? The big banks."

"All this money is coming out of our pockets and it's coming out of revenues for New York City," said Greg Fries, a campaign coordinator with United New York.

Their demands follow Tuesday's announcement that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a civil suit against JPMorgan Chase.

The suit claims the now-defunct Bear Stearns, acquired by JPMorgan in 2008, defrauded investors by selling billions of dollars in bad mortgage-backed securities.

A JPMorgan spokesman said the company will fight the allegations.

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