Biloxi Sun Herald | Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Biloxi resident William Magee's floorboards have been buckling dangerously since becoming waterlogged during Hurricane Katrina. But Magee will soon have brand new flooring thanks to a partnership of The First, A National Banking Association, Hope Community Development Agency and The Peoples Bank. The First and Peoples are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, allowing them to use FHLB Dallas' Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grants to assist 17 income-qualified, special-needs homeowners with repairs. "We continue to use SNAP year after year because it truly changes the lives of the recipients for the better," said Jerome Brown, SVP and director of community development at The First.

The Atlantic | Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Center for Financial Services Innovation organized a scavenger hunt earlier this month intended to give several dozen participants from the financial industry, non-profits and advocacy organizations first-hand experience of alternative financial services. Each group of four participants received two checks: a payroll check for $105 and a personal check for $15. Using only the proceeds, the groups completed a series of financial transactions including executing a money transfer, buying a money order to pay a bill, obtaining a prepaid debit card and inquiring into payday loans. "The question I found myself asking... [was] whether it was the best we could do for families who are already operating with so little margin for error," journalist Ronald Brownstein reflects.

American Banker | Monday, June 9, 2014

A Supreme Court decision that suggests limits on Native American tribes' off-reservation authority has triggered debate over whether online payday lenders who claim tribal exemptions to state law will be affected. The ruling states that although states cannot sue tribes, they could instead pursue individual members for offering loans that violate state laws, including those that restrict payday lending. Consumer advocates hailed the decision as a new tool for stopping online lenders who claim Native exemptions. But other analysts argue the ruling is limited because it does not address the core ambiguity of the practice -- whether or not the lenders are operating on tribal territory when they make online loans.

Crain's Detroit Business | Sunday, June 8, 2014

The redevelopment of a historic 126,000 square-foot building in Detroit's Capitol Park neighborhood is expected to be completed by the end of the year with $38.5 million in financing from a group including Urban Partnership Bank. The building will be turned into new office space for the Archdiocese of Detroit, 56 loft-style apartment units and first-floor retail. The financing is part of a public-private partnership made possible by federal New Markets and historic tax credits and state historic and brownfield tax credits. Beechwood, Ohio-based Liberty Bank NA, Chase Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, the Chicago-based National Community Investment Fund, Invest Detroit and Lansing-based Develop Michigan Inc. will also participate in the financing.

The Bergen Record | Sunday, June 8, 2014

Preston Pinkett, President and CEO of City National Bank, says the bank is continuing to recover from the financial crisis. Pinkett was brought in about three years ago to plot a new course for the bank, which has been operating under a consent order from the OCC since 2009. Although City National faces challenges in loans and deposits, Pinkett noted the bank's progress in reducing problem assets. "We do see light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not another train," he said. Pinkett is planning a private offering to raise more capital for the bank before the end of the year.

Bloomberg | Friday, June 6, 2014

Payday lending trade group Community Financial Services Association of America has sued U.S. banking regulators, accusing them of pressuring banks to stop serving payday lenders. The complaint alleges that under the Department of Justice's Operation Choke Point, regulators at the Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC have engaged in "a concerted campaign" to drive payday lenders out of business by pressuring financial institutions to terminate relationships with the lenders. According to the suit, more than 80 banks have cut off relations with payday lenders due to warnings that continued interactions “will result in harsh and prolonged examinations, reduced examination ratings, and/or other punitive measures.”

Forbes | Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Batten Institute at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business profiles Southern Bancorp of Arkadelphia, Arkansas for Forbes. “Rural America is facing increasing challenges in light of the accelerating banking exodus,” says Dominik Mjartan, Senior Vice President at Southern Bancorp and member of the CDBA Board of Directors. “In 30 percent of our markets we are the only bank in town that offers responsible financial services, including transactional accounts, consumer credit and residential mortgages... Without access to a wide range of financial services that meet the unique needs of poor rural communities, their residents are susceptible to predatory lenders."

NPR | Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hundreds of student-run bank branches and credit unions are opening in schools across the U.S. The school systems hope the branches will help student employees build up their resumes and make money while building financial literacy and providing families access to safe credit. Union Bank has three student-run branches in California, all located in low-income neighborhoods. The bank spends up to $200,000 to build each branch, staffs them with managers and pays student employees stipends and scholarships. Union views the branches as part of their community service and doesn't expect them to make money. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is now considering a special designation for school branches, which would pave the way for more. 

Minnesota Business Magazine, Sunrise Banks | Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A new video shows David Reiling, Sunrise Banks CEO and CDBA Director, accepting the Good Leader Award at Minnesota Business Magazine's Community Impact Awards. The awards are intended to recognize leaders and businesses that have a real impact on their communities. The magazine recognized Mr. Reiling for his work in community development finance, highlighting his advocacy on behalf of underserved consumers including Hmong and Somali immigrant communities. "[Leadership] is really about being a servant to those that you lead," Reiling said. "We can accomplish bigger things together and we can go places that we never thought we could before."

Model D Media | Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chicago-based Urban Partnership Bank has announced it will add two new employees to its Detroit lending staff and raise its annual lending goal for small business, nonprofits and real-estate investors to $10 million. The bank has already loaned millions of dollars to Detroit-based businesses since opening its Midtown office in 2012. Borrowers in the city so far have included the owners of a 138-unit apartment building who needed a renovation loan and a snack-food manufacturer that revived an abandoned factory and will be creating 50 new jobs. "We're aggressively seeking community borrowers to build businesses and revitalize business districts in Detroit’s neighborhoods," said Brian Berg, Director of Communications for Urban Partnership.