Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp in Arkadelphia, AR, has written an op-ed on the financial benefits of helping small lenders to serve borrowers in bank deserts. "The Mississippi Delta may seem to be the farthest place in the world from New York City's financial heart. But, in fact, there is an opportunity to connect rural America with Wall Street and benefit both places," he writes. "A major opportunity exists to serve these communities, and Wall Street firms do not need a bank branch of their own to reap the reward."
This article from the American Banker features efforts by M&F Bank in Durham to reach more millennial customers. The bank recently formed a millennial advisory board to help improve its technology and marketing efforts. The $268 million-asset black-owned bank will soon debut a checking account designed for younger customers. It is also set to host parties in two cities to celebrate its new checking account. The events will feature food trucks and a DJ. "I've never had a DJ at an account opening," said F&M's President and CEO James Sills. "We're thinking differently."
In the wake of recently passed federal tax cuts and reforms, First Southwest Bank in Alamosa, CO has become the latest US employer to announce a raise in starting pay, at $14 an hour with full benefits. "We're excited to take advantage of the tax reform and give the positive impact it has on First Southwest Bank right back to our team members and the rural Colorado community," said First Southwest CEO Kent Curtis. "By being able to provide a higher living wage to our starting employees, and invest in our team, we can be a catalyst for economic growth, and reaffirm our commitment to a better quality of life in all of the rural Colorado communities our branches serve."
Through the Richmond Fed's Survey of CDFIs in the Southeast (SCDFISE), CDFIs provide timely information on their capitalization, demand, and capacity, and development programs and services. This article presents key findings from the 2017 SCDFISE, including trends in CDFI certification, analysis of asset size, and perennial challenges in meeting demand for products and services provided by southern CDFIs.
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.
We are seeking a high energy and dynamic candidate for the position of Public Policy Manager. The Manager will advance our public policy advocacy agenda. The position reports to Chief Executive Officer, but works with all members of the team. This is a full time 40 hour per week position. The position is located at CDBA's offices in Washington, DC. Click here to read the full description.
This article highlights Spring Bank's Grow Loan Program for small businesses with capital needs of less than $150,000 -- a typical cutoff for small business loans from a bank. It highlights the beneficial effects of the program on specific ventures spearheaded by women and minority entrepreneurs. "If you look at every one of our Grow Loan clients, you will find a really compelling story in every one of them," said Ines Marino, Spring Bank's director of small business lending.
The tax reform law enacted in late 2017 is already threatening to exacerbate the affordable housing crisis. The law is expected to eliminate 300,000 affordable housing units over 10 years, partly because it will reduce the value of banks' low-income tax credits, which finance half of all affordable housing units, according to a report by the nonprofit real estate firm NHP Foundation. Lowering the corporate tax rate reduces the value of the tax credits by roughly 15% because banks and partnerships that use the tax credits are limited in deductions on appreciating expenses.