In this article, the American Banker discusses how OneUnited Bank in Boston has a plan to remain relevant while continuing to press for social justice. The nation's biggest black-owned bank has adopted a business model aimed at becoming a digitally-focused retail bank. It has scaled back its physical operations, closing a pair of branches in Los Angeles last year. It has also added thousands of ATMs that customers can access without a fee, and it plans to add Apple Pay to its menu of online services. The strategic shift comes at a critical time.
All Albina Community Bank branches are set to convert to Beneficial State Bank branches on February 1, 2018, after the two banks announced regulatory approval of their merger this week. Beneficial State, headquartered in Oakland, California, has owned a majority share of Albina in 2013, which it acquired in an effort to help stabilize the Portland-based bank after a period of industry turbulence. Three Albina members will join the Beneficial State board.
If Congress succeeds in passing regulatory relief, consumers in rural areas could soon find it easier to open accounts at banks and credit unions. Under a provision tucked into the Senate version of a regulatory relief bill that passed out of committee last week, financial institutions would be able to use a scan of a customer's driver's license or other photo identification to verify that person's identity when opening an account online. The Making Online Banking Initiation Legal and Easy, or MOBILE, Act, is intended to address a patchwork of state-level restrictions concerning how state-issued photo IDs may be copied or used.
This week, CDBA CEO Jeannine Jacokes contributed an op-ed to the American Banker urging that Congress preserve New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) funding in 2018-2019. The article provides examples of improved healthcare access and expanded manufacturing manufacturing capacity through NMTC. “Decades of community development experience have proven that tax breaks alone are simply inadequate to spur economic activity in the most distressed places,” Jacokes wrote. “If they don’t preserve the NMTC, Congress could leave communities in need of a real boost at greater risk.”
Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) approved Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Underserved Markets Plans for 2018-2020. Under the Duty to Serve (DTS) program, the FHFA required each Enterprise to adopt a three-year Underserved Markets Plan that aims to increase the liquidity of mortgage financing to families with very low to moderate incomes in three underserved markets: rural housing; manufactured housing; and affordable housing preservation markets.
In this article, Carl Hairston, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at City First Bank, is interviewed by the Huffington Post on corporate social responsibility and the ideal framework for deepening company impact. "98% of bank deposits in DC are placed within 24 banks, and those 24 all make more investments outside of the DC market than they do within it," Hairston explained. "Our mission is to go to whatever prudent and reasonable lengths we can in order to help those individuals access the working capital they need for viable credit opportunities."
This week, the Board of Trustees for Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado approved the naming of the new First Southwest Bank Center for Economic Opportunity on campus. The center will open in January 2018 and will focus on community-based strategic planning and trainings to promote local business startups, thereby improving job creation, job retention, and local income levels. The University's expertise in business education and community partnerships will inform the project design and approach.
If you live in rural America and have a heart attack — or stroke — you may be in really big trouble. Over 30 million Americans live more than an hour's drive from a trauma center and an estimated 673 rural hospitals are at risk of closure, exemplifying a nationwide trend that threatens rural health care access. Yet an amazing thing happened at Monroe County Hospital in Monroeville, Ala. In 2017, it received a $6 million capital injection to renovate and expand its emergency room and oncology department thanks to a small, but potently impactful, federal program called the New Markets Tax Credit.
Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, was recently interviewed on the Your Mark on the World Podcast, and the footage is featured on Forbes. Williams discussed his bank's mission and strategy, saying, "Often our competition is not another bank; [it is] a payday lender or pawn shop, or someone who provides alternative forms of capital or credit that really strip wealth. So we really do a lot of outreach. We don't wait for people to come to the bank. We take the bank to them."
American Banker takes a look at the challenges facing the nation's black-run banks, including Carver Federal Savings Bank in New York. Many of the top challenges facing Carver are facing other community banks, including rising compliance costs, pressure to scale bank on commercial real estate, and an uphill battle to keep pace with technology. "There have been many, many things that the team and I are proud of, and there's no place I would have wanted to have been for the past five years," Pugh said. "Certainly some things I wish would have had a different outcome, but the journey continues for us."