Nine organizations in Minden, LA have teamed up on a project known as The Collaboration, which will seek to help entrepreneurs start and grow their small businesses. It will also foster development of existing companies. The Louisiana Economic Development office has changed its small business lending criteria to enable more widespread eligibility for state loans. Through The Collaboration, banks will be more inclined to lend to startup businesses.
The Huffington Post examines the Beneficial State Bank and Beneficial State Foundation as an alternative banking model with a large societal benefit. CEO Kat Taylor said in an interview, "You have to have a model that cares as much about environmental and social capital as it does about financial capital. Only within a community of practice like this can we create the muscle memory to do that, and to make the combined effort to monitor outcomes that will tell us whether we are doing that or not."
The new First Southwest Bank Center for Economic Opportunity at Adams State University will open its doors in January 2018, and it focused on community-based strategic planning and trainings to promote local business startups and improve job creation and retention. "We're excited about the future opportunities for business growth in the San Luis Valley, a place with unique heritage and incredible people," said Kent Curtis, CEO of First Southwest Bank. "And First Southwest Bank is truly committed to building more small businesses, networks, and opportunities for our rural Colorado community."
This report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia summarizes innovative activities from banks' Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations in the areas of job creation, education and workforce development, and transportation and affordable housing. It also examines potential mechanisms through which the CRA could help promote economic prosperity and alleviate poverty in the process of channeling capital into low- and moderate-income communities.
The gridlock in Congress has challenged legislators to pass any meaningful bills on banking regulations, though bankers recently scored a victory when the Senate voted to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's arbitration rule. Still, banks are concerned about other proposals, such as the CFPB's plan to collect data on small-business lending and changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. These worries only seem to compound an increase in nonbank competition and cybersecurity threats.
There are $92 trillion in bond markets around the world. Corporations have ready access to those dollars. For example, when Amazon needed $16 billion to acquire Whole Foods, it borrowed it through the bond market. Now, nonprofit lenders in the U.S. with a mission to make capital meet the needs of poor communities have a foothold into that world.
City First Bank has partnered with SOLE Financial to offer a payroll card program to its business clients who employ unbanked workers. This program will reduce the burden that paper payroll checks place on the unbanked. Their clients will save significant revenue at the company level as well as save on check cashing fees at the individual employee level by transitioning from paper checks to the SOLE Paycard. Charlene Davis, VP Branch Relationship Manager at City First, said, "This partnership supports our mission to continuously provide services to low- and moderate-income communities."
The First, A National Banking Association has acquired First Community Bank, a CDFI based in Chatom, AL. First Community serves Washington, Mobile, and Baldwin counties in southwest Alabama. The transaction will significantly increase the combined banks' market share in the Mobile area.
This report, from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, provides new insight into how and why immigrants that have entered the financial mainstream engage with their financial institution. The study analyzes product utilization, survey and interview data from a sample of immigrant members at seven credit unions around the United States.
This article from the American Banker examines the consolidation of the US banking industry and the decline of the number of individual FDIC-insured institutions amidst high regulatory costs. It argues for the rethinking of the regulatory approach to the community development financial sector.