"The SBA's Equity Action Plan reaffirms our agency-wide commitment to breaking down longstanding barriers to ensure underserved entrepreneurs can access the capital, networks, resources, and opportunity they need to realize their American dream of business ownership," said Administrator Guzman. "Alongside plans from over 90 other federal agencies, the SBA's Equity Action Plan aims to level the playing field for all small businesses and startups, a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, and empower them to compete in an increasingly global economy and navigate new opportunities presented by transformational legislation, such as President Biden's Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law)."
NMB Financial Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of New Millennium Bank, announced that a Letter of Intent has been sent to the Board of Directors of Noah Bank, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania related to a cash acquisition of Noah. The Letter of Intent provides for the cash acquisition of all outstanding shares of Noah at 100% of Noah's tangible common equity as of March 31, 2022, less any transaction expenses over $2 million. NMB is on its way to receive $75.1 million investment through the US Department of Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP). NMB is one of 186 community development financial institutions (CDFI) and minority depository institutions (MDI) that are eligible to receive $8.7 billion in capital through the ECIP.
On Monday, Quontic Bank began offering customers an unassuming black band embedded with contactless payment technology that they can use at point-of-sale terminals. Such devices exist in other countries. Visa introduced near field communication-enabled rings for Olympic athletes in 2016; the London-based Kerv emerged in 2017 from a Kickstarter campaign; a bank in Australia rolled out the Halo ring in 2018. Some ring-makers advertise availability in the U.S. But Quontic, a $916 million-asset community development financial institution in New York City, says it is the first financial institution to offer one in this country. Will consumers take to a debit card disguised as jewelry when they can already pay by hovering their cards, smartphones, fitness trackers or smartwatches above a contactless terminal?
Grace Pace, senior vice president of digital banking at Quontic Bank, says banks with rewards checking accounts will often require customers to fulfill specific activities to earn rewards. "With a rewards checking account, the most common activity would be swiping your debit card," explains Pace. "However, some will also encourage behavior, like enrolling in direct deposit or signing up for e-statements." Numerous financial institutions let you earn rewards solely through the rewards checking account. As a result, you won't need to own another bank account or apply for other bank services. First Independence Bank, Industrial Bank, and M&F Bank are also mentioned.
In celebration of National Financial Literacy Month, OneUnited Bank, the nation's largest black-owned bank, is proud to announce its 12th Annual "I Got Bank!" National Financial Literacy Contest where ten children will win a $1,000 savings account. To make financial literacy a core value of the Black community, the Bank is offering a free "I Got Bank" E-Book. Students from across the country between the ages of 8 and 12 are encouraged to read a financial literacy book of their choosing, and either write a 250-word essay or create an art project to show how they would apply what they learned from the book to their daily lives. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by June 30, 2022. The Bank will choose ten winners and award each winner a $1,000 savings account at OneUnited Bank by August 31, 2022.
Arkadelphia's Southern Bancorp Inc. is paying $28 million cash for FCB Financial Services Inc., the holding company of Jonesboro's Premier Bank of Arkansas. The addition of the $227.4 million-asset bank, which operates full-service offices in Craighead and Crittenden counties, will enlarge Southern Bancorp's footprint to 16 Arkansas counties. The deal will also provide the gateway to Jonesboro, Marion and West Memphis for the $2 billion-asset Southern Bancorp Bank. The community development lender will step into those markets where Premier holds deposits of: $155.3 million in West Memphis, an 11.82% share that ranks third among eight banks in the $1.3 billion-deposit market; $130.5 million in Marion, a 36.31% share that is tops among five banks in the $359 million-deposit market; $12.8 million in Jonesboro, a 0.36% share that ranks 18th among 20 banks in the $3.5 billion-deposit market.
Bank regulators are sharpening their tools for identifying and curbing discriminatory practices in the home appraisal industry. The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Credit Union Administration plan to devise new ways to monitor appraisal processes for racial, ethnic and sex-based biases, according to a report published this week by a White House task force aimed at addressing long-running prejudices in appraisals. The agencies will also scrutinize mortgage lenders to identify patterns of bias, work with other government agencies to enforce new rules and create a shared database of historical appraisals to benefit research and enforcement efforts. They will also take steps to improve the reevaluation process for buyers who feel their properties have been unfairly discounted and design guidance for computer-generated valuations.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development recently announced the inaugural awardees of the Commercial Property Acquisition Fund — a program that provides eligible businesses down payment assistance for the acquisition of commercial property in the District. The Commercial Property Acquisition Fund counts as the first grant program in the District of Columbia created to help entrepreneurs and small business owners who face barriers to accessing capital to purchase their commercial properties. The fund provides down payment assistance through grants up to $750,000 or 25% of the total acquisition cost, whichever is lower, to eligible businesses looking to maintain and expand their operations by acquiring commercial property in the District. The $4 million Commercial Property Acquisition Fund is administered by the largest Black-led bank in the country, City First Bank, with its co-headquarters located in the District.
A postal reform bill that passed Congress this week could offer another opportunity to install a postal banking system in the United States, according to a review by the Prospect. While the $107 billion in savings from ending the Postal Service's prefunding of retirement benefits and moving postal retirees onto Medicare has received most of the headlines, Section 103 of the bill, subsection 3704, restates USPS authority to partner to "provide property and nonpostal services" to federal government agencies, as long as whatever results raises revenue for the Postal Service. This would appear to supersede one aspect of a ban on non-postal products from the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, and could pave the way to providing services that mirror a bank account for any American who wants one.
The Board of Directors of National Cooperative Bank (NCB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Casey Fannon as the bank's new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Fannon has been serving as the Acting CEO of NCB since the sudden death of the bank's former CEO, Chuck Snyder, in November. "The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that we have unanimously approved Casey Fannon as NCB's Chief Executive Officer effectively immediately," stated Debra Huddleston, Chair of NCB's Board of Directors. "In his 25 years at the bank, Casey has demonstrated the expertise, commitment, and passion to lead NCB into the future. The Board has great trust in Casey's leadership and we look forward to working with him in advancing NCB's mission." Since joining NCB in 1996, Mr. Fannon has dedicated his entire career to National Cooperative Bank and has served as its President since March 2020 and Acting CEO since November 2021.