On March 7, 2014, at 1:00 PM EST Promontory Financial Group will host a conference call to answer frequently asked questions about the Promontory Empowerment Awards. Topics covered in the call will include award eligibility, application requirements, selection criteria and prizes. All interested in attending are advised to RSVP to email@example.com for dial-in information and to submit questions for consideration during the call. Questions should be submitted by 5:00 PM EST on March 5. Promontory established the empowerment awards to recognize and support promising innovations which broaden access to safe, fair financial services. Awards will be offered in two categories: one for registered CDFI banks and another for financial and technology firms with less $10 billion in assets. Prizes will include consultations with Promontory and financial awards. More information and application materials are available at empowerment.promontory.com.
Virginia Community Capital President/CEO and CDBA Chairwoman Jane Henderson has been named one of three new board members by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship works in partnership with communities in the United States and Canada to provide customized research-based, asset-focused economic development strategies that emphasize entrepreneurship. Current board chair Thomas S. Lyons said of the transition, “We are excited about the addition of these three members who bring deep experience with entrepreneurship and community development... We look forward to the talents and energy they will bring to our board.”
OneUnited Bank has introduced a new credit card aimed at consumers who are trying to repair bad credit. The credit card, billed as the “comeback card” will initially be marketed in the bank’s three primary locations -- Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami -- said Teri Williams, the bank’s president. As customers establish a history of on-time payments, they can rebuild their credit, allowing them to qualify for traditional cards and other loans. “These are people who have hit a bump in the road,” Williams said. “We can relate, whether personally or as an institution, when you hit a bump in the road. The message that we would like to send is that you can come back from that.” said OneUnited President Teri Williams.
Alongside its announcement of the closure of its South Shore branch, Urban Partnership Bank has announced the launch of a new online and mobile banking platform, "upbAnywhere." The bank will offer free courses in January to train its customers to use the new platform. Urban Partnership also announced plans to refocus on small-business and real estate lending, and to participate next year in a foreclosure-prevention program backed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. "We believe these are the right strategies... They better align our structure and business focus with the needs of our customers and communities, and in so doing, position us for long-term success," said William Farrow, the bank's chief executive.
A new service from Carver Bancorp that offers check cashing to non-customers from automated kiosks reflects a shift in the banking industry toward check cashing. The shift comes as payday lending comes under increasing fire from regulators and banks seek alternate sources of fee income. Carver's program brings the kiosks, which resemble ATMs, to the sites of employers on paydays, making it easier for the unbanked to access check cashing. Deborah Wright, Carver's chairwoman and chief executive, hopes to expand the kiosk program, which she forsees broadening the bank's outreach to underbanked consumers.
Three years after taking over the assets, deposits and mission of failed low-income neighborhood lender ShoreBank, Urban Partnership Bank is selling the converted movie theater in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood that served for decades as home to ShoreBank. The sale means Urban Partnership Bank will no longer have a physical presence in South Shore. Urban Partnership Bank CEO William Farrow commented that the bank continues to hold property in South Shore which he expects to eventually develop into a renewed presence in the neighborhood.
The CDFI Fund has announced its FY 2013 Bank Enterprise Awards, including twenty six (26) awards to CDBA member banks which received a total of $6,849,561 – or 40% of all awards.
In all, eighty-five (85) banks received $17 million in awards. The CDFI Fund reported that they received 98 applications requesting $91 million. The number of applicants in this year's BEA Program round represents an increase of 38 percent over the prior year. It is the largest number of BEA Program applicants since FY 2002. The average award was $200,574 and the maximum award was $323,000. Among the 85 awardees, 38 were CDFI banks ($11.1 million – or 65% of awards) and 21 were minority depository institutions ($6.2 million – or 36% of awards).
CDFI banks were awarded $11,352,909. Of the 26 CDBA member awardees, nineteen received the maximum award of $323,000.
The CDBA congratulates the following members awardees:
ABC Bank (Chicago, IL): $323,000
Albina Community Bank (Portland, OR): $256,950
BankPlus (Belzoni, MS): $323,000
Broadway Federal Bank, f.s.b. (Los Angeles, CA): $199,951
Carver Federal Savings Bank (New York, NY): $323,000
CBMS: Community Bank (Ellisville, MS): $86,655
CBMS: Community Bank of Mississippi (Forest, MS): $88,777
CBMS: Community Bank, North Mississippi (Amory, MS): $50,287
Central Bank of Kansas City (Kansas City, MO): $254,792
City First Bank of D.C., N.A. (Washington, DC): $323,000
Community Bank of the Bay (Oakland, CA): $323,000
First American International Bank (Brooklyn, NY): $323,000
First Eagle Bank (Hanover Park, IL): $323,000
First Security Bank (Batesville, MS): $39,649
Guaranty Bank and Trust Company (Belzoni, MS): $323,000
Illinois-Service Federal Savings and L.A. (Chicago, IL): $323,000
International Bank of Chicago (Chicago, IL): $323,000
Metro Bank (Louisville, KY): $323,000
Mission Valley Bank (Sun Valley, CA): $323,000
One PacificCoast Bank, FSB (Oakland, CA): $323,000
Pan American Bank (Melrose Park, IL): $323,000
Start Community Bank (New Haven, CT): $58,500
Sunrise Banks, N.A. (St. Paul, MN): $323,000
United Bank (Atmore, AL): $323,000
Urban Partnership Bank (Chicago, IL): $323,000
The Bank of Vernon (Vernon, AL): $323,000
Albina Community Bank's Lime Wind Project, a wind farm in eastern Oregon funded in partnership with Wells Fargo, has been highlighted in an Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) newsletter. Lime Wind is a local distributed-energy project run by a small operator for the benefit of the local community. It provides reliable, green power at rates at or below that of traditional sources. The Lime Wind transaction utilized $8.4 million in new markets tax credits (NMTC) allocation provided by Albina Equity Fund.
Former President Bill Clinton joined leaders of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in welcoming Darrin Williams and Dr. Glendell Jones, Jr. as the new CEO and Governing Board Chair of Southern Bancorp. President Clinton's message, delivered via video from New York, described how Southern is fulfilling the vision he and other founders had when they created the bank in 1986 to help generate long-lasting investments in rural communities. Representatives of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation also congratulated the two for continuing to strengthen Southern's mission to invest in rural communities and empowering the individuals and businesses there to transform those communities for the better.
Broadway Federal Bank, F.S.B. has entered into a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The terms of the Consent Order coincide with an upgrade of the Bank's regulatory rating by the OCC. As part of the order, the bank is required to maintain a tier 1 (core) capital to adjusted total assets ratio of at least 9% and a total risk-based capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of at least 13%. Both ratios are greater than the respective 4% and 8% levels generally required under OCC regulations. The bank's regulatory capital exceeded both of these higher capital ratios at the end of each quarter during 2013. The consent order supersedes the Order to Cease and Desist the bank entered into with the Office of Thrift Supervision in 2010. Broadway Financial Chief Executive Officer Wayne-Kent Bradshaw stated, "We are pleased that the OCC has recognized improvements in the bank's financial condition and internal control processes by upgrading our regulatory rating in conjunction with its recent full regulatory examination."
Bank Kiosks Provide More Options For Residents in Underserved Communities
Time Warner Cable NY1 News
New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents are using new CashAccess bank kiosks, provided by Carver Federal Savings Bank, to cash checks and pay bills. The bank operates four of the machines, which look like ATMs. The kiosks charge fees comparable to those found at a check casher for bill payment services, wire transfers and NYCHA rent payments. “You don't have to get on a bus. You don't have to travel places to pay. It's right here,” said Jacqueline Picket, one of eleven NYCHA residents hired by Carver to help neighbors navigate the kiosks. Bank officials say they will be placing two additional machines in housing residences in the South Bronx and Brownsville in the coming year. Carver and their collaborators at NYCHA see the machines as part of a broader conversation about financial inclusion. “Over 40 percent of the folks who are using the machines have already opened a bank account, which is extraordinary,” said Carver CEO Deborah Wright.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is considering new rules to govern debt collection practices that could--for the first time--include banks and other creditors that are collecting their own debt. The agency announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comments on regulating the multi-billion dollar debt collection industry. The CFPB rules may establish new restrictions on originating creditors, require accuracy of documents shared between all collection parties and update rules on how collectors communicate to consumers. Senior CFPB officials said creditors who originate and collect their own debt will be the most affected by the new rules since most existing regulations do not cover such firms. CFPB officials said they are currently looking at whether first-party creditors should be subject to the same restrictions as third-parties or face separate rules. The agency pledged to conduct small business panels, likely with debt collectors, and ensure new proposed disclosures are put out for comment before they are finalized.
A survey administered by the New York Fed detected a large amount of unmet demand for credit among American households. Nineteen percent of households were found to have unmet demand for credit. Broken down by income, 28 percent of lower-income households had unmet demand, compared with 8 percent of high-income households. Thirty-seven percent of the unemployed had unmet demand, compared with 20 percent of the employed. The rejection rate for the lower-income group was nearly three times as high as that for the high-income group (32 percent versus 12 percent). The unemployed face rejection rates of 34 percent versus 22 percent for the employed. These discouraged borrowers also had the lowest average credit scores, suggesting that they have poor credit, are aware of it and are therefore not applying. Nearly half of all households are likely to apply for some type of credit over the next twelve months and virtually all those who were rejected in the past year are likely to apply for credit in the coming year. Furthermore, a large proportion of applicants who were approved in the past year are likely to apply for more credit in the coming year, suggesting they those households anticipate still more demand.
Since 1998, Calvin Holmes has been president of the Chicago Community Loan Fund, a Chicago-based CDFI. In August, Holmes was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Community Development Advisory Board, which helps guide the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund. In an interview, Holmes spoke about his goals for the advisory board, his views on Community Reinvestment Act changes and the banking industry's role in supporting and utilizing CDFIs: "I'm hoping the fund can focus on how we create jobs and employment opportunities for this strata of Americans severely impacted [by the recession]... The [big banks] increasingly—given how their credit box has tightened—see CDFIs as instrumental in supporting [low- and moderate-income] areas. They see the opportunities to work with [CDFIs] to achieve measurable change in local markets and they seem to be taking it very seriously... Most folks are talking about changing the [CRA] assessment definition so that it's not about exactly where the bank has their branches or their deposits, but also where they make loans or provide credit. Many advocates agree upon the need to expand CRA to apply to mortgage and insurance companies, securities firms, large credit union and nondepository affiliates of banks."
The Atlantic Cities
New research has found that child poverty has a lasting negative impact on the brain. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Cornell, the University of Michigan and the University of Denver followed children from the age of 9 through their early 20's. Those who grew up poor were more likely to have impaired brain function as adults. Poor children had more problems regulating their emotions as adults, regardless of income status at age 24. Over the course of the longitudinal study – which included 49 rural white children of varying incomes – these children were exposed to chronic sources of stress such as violence, family turmoil or low-quality housing. Those kinds of stresses, the researchers theorize, may help explain the link between income status in childhood and how well the brain functions later on. That theory, they write, is consistent with the idea that "early experiences of poverty become embedded within the organism, setting individuals on lifelong trajectories."
The debt collections program manager will research the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s strategy regarding the promotion and enforcement of fair debt collections practices in the consumer lending industry. The manager will monitor current and emerging issues related to all aspects of the debt collections and debt buying industry, including its business models, infrastructure, relationships with credit originators and compliance with the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. In addition, this position will collaborate with the supervision and enforcement teams to design and establish registration, data collection and examination procedures and protocols and to identify key initial areas for rules development.
The portfolio manager is responsible for providing a broad range of loan portfolio support. Responsibilities include monitoring loan fund accounts, tracking financial reporting and covenant compliance and conducting loan-related reporting. The portfolio manager will also monitor the construction process for health center capital development loans and analyze borrower financial statements. This position interacts closely with borrowers, lenders and other funding sources as well as with staff members at the firm’s affiliate organization, Capital Link. This position reports to the Director of Loan Programs.