Urban Partnership Bank recently served as a sponsor for the 4th annual Financial Services Pipeline Intern Career Conference in Chicago; the conference aimed to expose more African Americans and Latinos to financial careers in an effort to increase interest and representation in this field. Urban Partnership Bank was among the various companies on hand to provide guidance, expertise, and opportunities to the interns.
In response to the House Appropriations Committee’s approved top line at just $190 million for the CDFI Fund in FY2018, the Credit Builders Alliance asked its CDFI members to forward a survey to their borrowers. The results of the survey resoundingly disprove the contention that CDFIs are no longer needed, which President Trump insinuated in his budget blueprint by declaring that “the CDFI fund was created more than 20 years ago to jump-start a now mature industry.” In the survey, 57% of respondents said that their CDFI loan helped them to start of grow a business.
According to a survey recently conducted by the American Bankers Association, Americans overwhelmingly believe that our economy needs banks of all sizes, and a majority is concerned about the falling number of banks. The survey demonstrated that Americans widely understand the benefits that banks bring to their communities: 79% agreed that they play an important role through financial education offerings and community event sponsorships, and 87% agreed that they help support local businesses.
A recent Forrester benchmarking study examined mobile offerings for retail customers of various banks and found that many of their mobile apps lacked functions that would not require a large investment by the banks to implement. Minor functions such as the ability to search for items within an app or the ability to sort transactions are often overlooked, which can hinder a user’s experience. For community banks, which don’t have the budgets of their larger counterparts to spend on digital upgrades, Forrester’s advice is particularly relevant.
Legacy Bank & Trust of Rogersville, Missouri has agreed to purchase Financial Enterprises Inc., the holding company of First National Bank of Clinton. Through the deal, Legacy will gain access to Clinton’s three branches and $70 million in assets. “Coming from a family-owned institution for over 120 years, I feel confident that we understand and appreciate the relationships built by First National Bank of Clinton, which has been family owned for nearly 50 years,” said Legacy Bank & Trust Chairman Chris Harlin. “It was this mutual admiration that made this venture possible.”
WBUR Radio Boston recently interviewed Teri Williams, president and CEO of OneUnited Bank. She discussed the discrepancies between black and white homeownership in Boston, elaborating on issues of eligibility and describing her company’s involvement with the ONE Mortgage Program that is offered in Boston for first-time homebuyers. Through this program, OneUnited has partnered with MA-based nonprofit housing organizations to help close the eligibility gap.
Oliver Wyman provides critical insight on non-financial payment reporting data or “alternative data”, which can improve access to credit for millions of Americans by overcoming two key limitations of today’s best lending practices and enhancing the accuracy of existing credit scores.
Tucked away in the last month’s regulatory form report by the Treasury Department was a nascent effort to reform the way regulators implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA, a law intended to compel banks to offer loans and financial services to low- and moderate- income areas, has been criticized by community groups as out of step with modern banking practices. The report said that regulators need to “better align the benefits arising from banks’ CRA investments with the interest and needs of the communities they serve.”
Amidst soaring housing costs, the Bay Area has a well-documented shortage of affordable homes. The East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) has recently launched the new Oakland Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, whose investors will purchase apartment buildings at risk of converting to higher rents and then restrict rent increases for eligible low- and moderate-income residents. Beneficial State Bank is one of several CDFIs and nonprofit organizations partnering with EBALDC to ensure that these renters can stay in their homes.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced the appointment of new consumer experts from outside the federal government to the Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, Credit Union Advisory Council, and Academic Research Council; the four bodies will provide advice to CFPB leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues. Among the new appointees to the Community Bank Advisory Council is Max Yates, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of BankPlus in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Yates is a member of the CDBA Board of Directors.