Native American Bank, based in Denver, CO, is preparing to open its second retail branch. President and CEO Tom Ogaard explained that the Denver operations have grown and the bank wants to become more visible by opening a retail branch. It currently only has one in Montana. "We've been wanting for some time to create a different presence than we have in Denver," he said. The bank, which has just under $100 million in assets, has a core mission of supporting economic growth in Native communities.
During this year's Black History Month, OneUnited Bank has presented the #MakeBlackHistory Plan for 30 million Black Americans to use the internet to organize their $1.2 trillion in annual spending power to build wealth and protect the Black Community. OneUnited President and COO Teri WIlliams explained, "We are at a unique point in history when the internet allows us to organize our money at a scale and speed never seen before. Hands down, this is the best time to build generational, personal, and community wealth by using technology and expanding financial literacy."
Around 250 bank mergers and acquisitions take place every year. The merger between Portland-based Albina Community Bank and Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank took several years to finalize, and culminated in last week's signage and branding changes at Albina's five former branches in Portland. Both banks are Certified B Corporations whose bylaws commit them to voluntary annual external reporting on a wide range of social impact metrics. Beneficial State Bank's unusual ownership structure and powerful track record helped convince Albina's former board of directors that the merger was an ideal way to preserve their bank's mission and legacy while satisfying their regulatory requirements and keeping their five branches open.
Last week, the Congressional Research Service provided Congress with a new report on CDFI programs and policy issues. The report discusses the CDFI Fund's history, current appropriations, and each of its programs. It includes a description of the Fund's eligibility criteria for the different programs, and also engages in an analysis of previous reports and studies on the CDFI Fund Programs, including CMF and the NMTC. Finally, it reviews four policy considerations of congressional interest regarding the Fund and the effective use of federal resources to promote economic development.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed last month, amounts to a vast cutback in the construction of low-income housing. Because the tax rate for corporations has been lowered, the value of the credits is also lower. "It's the greatest shock to the affordable-housing system since the Great Recession," said Michael Novogradic, managing partner of Novogradic & Company, a national accounting firm based in San Francisco. According to an analysis by his firm, the new tax law will reduce the growth of subsidized affordable housing by 235,000 units over the next decade, compounding an existing shortage.
Capnexus, the online database by Partners for the Common Good for matching capital to community development finance opportunities, will host a webinar on March 8 on how to use the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program for innovative financing. The webinar will feature NMTC experts that will discuss case studies and best practices from various perspectives. The webinar will also discuss best methods that Consultants can use to attract CDEs and Investors to the projects they are marketing. In addition, there will a case study that speaks to developers on risk mitigation of project management with the development of the project.
The Senate is looking to pass legislation within the next month that would roll back restrictions on swaths of the finance industry. Such legislation would constitute the most significant loosening of rules imposed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Buoyed by their success in rewriting the tax code, Republican lawmakers now aim to help the financial industry relax many post-crisis rules and regulatory obligations, particularly for thousands of small- and medium-sized banks. The bill would allow hundreds of smaller banks to avoid certain elements of federal oversight.
A new provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lays the foundation for placing trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains into investment funds to drive long-term capital to distressed communities. The new Opportunity Zone Program provides tax benefits in Opportunity Funds, or "O Funds." O Funds will activate passive holdings by connecting investors to investment opportunities in Opportunity Zones. This concept, which was originally introduced in the Investing in Opportunity Act, is the first new community development tax incentive program introduced since the Clinton Administration.
According to Harvard University JCHS' newly released report, "America's Rental Housing 2017", unprecedented growth in the rental housing market is slowing amidst persistent affordability challenged for low- and moderate-income renter households. The report finds that fewer new renter households are being formed, rental vacancy rates have risen, and rent increases have slowed. At the same time, renter demographics are changing and rental affordability challenges remain prevalent.
Earlier this month, Commercial Capital Bank announced its intention to purchase First State Bank of Crossett, which has approximately $35.7 million in assets and two locations in Crossett, Arkansas. First State Bank has a business footprint in Louisiana's northeastern parishes. The banks expect the transition to close in the second quarter of 2018. "We are excited to combine with such a strong partner as First State Bank," said Commercial Capital President and CEO Shannon Lockard.