You may have heard that Amazon has been in talks with JPMorgan Chase about the possibility of an Amazon-branded checking account. No doubt, Amazon is looking to streamline their customer relationship with a built-in payment system, so customers won't have to leave the site or slow down to enter payment details. And Amazon can add one more industry to its already massive reach.
Tucked into the 2017 law intended to cut Americans' taxes was a program aimed at helping communities struggling with high unemployment and run-down housing. Known as "opportunity zones", supporters on both sides of the aisle say they are creating jobs and making a difference in places that might otherwise be left behind. Critics say residents in those communities actually may be harmed because wealthy investors getting tax breaks could enjoy more of a benefit than local residents. However, both supporters and critics agree that more information is needed on the actual impact of these zones.
A Q&A with Steven Schnall, the CEO of Quontic. Quontic is a community development financial institution that specializes in residential mortgages and has its main branch in the Astoria section of New York; it has branches in three other cities, too. Schnall's vision for the bank is ambitious but clear: Move its corporate office to a higher-profile location in Manhattan — and make it a digital bank.
The Telluride Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the Telluride Regional Loan Fund, a $2 million operating working capital loan fund designed to support rural business startup, growth and job creation and retention in southwest Colorado. The Loan Fund is a partnership with ZOMALAB and First Southwest Community Fund. The Telluride Loan Fund is a working capital fund designed to help companies with their day-to-day expenses. The purpose of the fund is to help uniquely rural and un-bankable businesses bridge the capital gap until they can become commercially bankable.
Bay Bank is now certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) follows a comprehensive process to certify financing entities. This prestigious designation confirms that Bay Bank is a mission driven bank that promotes community development and its primary target market is underserved communities including Native Americans and small businesses.
In Itta Benna, MS, banks have disappeared completely. The recent designation of Itta Benna as a banking desert follows a nationwide trend of bank branch closures. 3800 branches have shuttered since 2017, overwhelmingly in nonwhite areas.
Longtime Augusta banker Philip R. Wahl has been named president of Aiken-based Security Federal Bank, replacing Richard T. Harmon, who is retiring effective Aug. 1. Wahl, who is currently the bank’s Augusta market president, will remain based in Augusta and will report to Security Federal CEO J. Chris Verenes. Wahl joined Security Federal in 2017 after 31 years working in various capacities with local and national banks in the Augusta market. Wahl said he believes the appointment is a sign of the bank’s growing interest in the Augusta side of the metro area market.
Federal Deposit Insurance Chairman Jelena McWilliams is nearly halfway through a 50-state listening tour. As a result of meetings with local bankers, state supervisors, and consumer groups, Chariman McWilliams has directed staff to increase efforts to decrease regulations, promote community development banking, preserve MDIs, modernize the CRA, and encourage banks to serve low- and moderate-income househoulds.
When they have a complaint about a negligent or belligerent landlord, many New Yorkers have begun sidestepping their landlords for the bankers that finance the buildings. Many banks have given loans to landlords explicitly designed to activate loopholes that remove units from rent-regulated status. Now residents, led by attorneys and advocates at local non-profits, are convincing banks to make their lending practices more fair and transparent.
The StoryBank Project is a CDBA initiative to capture success stories of various impactful loans from our member banks through the eyes of their customers. These important stories show how underserved communities benefit directly from mission-based banking and financial services. Our latest video highlights Carver State Bank in Savannah, Georgia. The story follows two of the bank's lending projects: Renee's Kids World, a daycare center offering wraparound care to children of working parents, and the Old Savannah City Mission, a nonprofit shelter for homeless and formerly incarcerated local citizens.