A report by the Cleveland Fed finds that CDFI Fund awards substantially improve institutions' dedication to lending in distressed areas. The study compares the increase in lending at CDFI credit unions that receive grants to the baseline lending level of credit unions that apply but are rejected. The institutions which received CDFI grants increased lending by 3 percent on average. For every dollar awarded, awardees loaned 45 cents to borrowers in the first year and up to $1.60 within three years. The authors note that the CDFI Fund's core program works well because of its institutional independence, direct injection of funds to low-income neighborhoods and its transparent review process.
Urban Partnership Bank has made a $1.6 million commercial real estate loan for casual dining franchise Culver’s to acquire property for their first restaurant in Chicago. Construction of the new restaurant, located near Chicago's Wrigley Field, is expected to be completed prior to opening day of the 2015 baseball season. Justin Obriecht, the Culver’s franchisee who is bringing the burger chain’s first restaurant to the city, wants to add about 2,500 square feet on the property's first floor to make room for the restaurant. He also plans to add two new floors with six apartments to the building, estimating the entire project will cost $4.8 million.
The CDFI Fund is requesting public comment on a new annual reporting form for all certified CDFIs. The objective of the new Annual Certification and Data Collection Report Form is to reduce the burden of the recertification process. It will also require new annual financial and impact data, a change the CDFI Fund hopes will enable them to track the financial health and accomplishments of CDFIs. In particular, the CDFI Fund seeks input on whether the proposed form is suited to its stated objectives; ways of minimizing the burden of the new reporting; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the metrics; and estimates of the operational costs of providing the information. The deadline for written comments is September 8, 2014.
The FDIC’s Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection will host a webinar, Model Approaches to Community Bank/CDFI Partnerships on July 31, 2014, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The webinar accompanies the recent release of the FDIC resource guide, Strategies for Community Banks to Develop Partnerships with CDFIs, which lays out strategies for community banks to identify and evaluate opportunities to collaborate with CDFIs. The program includes presentations on model partnerships between banks and CDFIs as well as an overview of U.S. Treasury programs that support bank/CDFI partnerships. Registration is open until July 28.
Simmons First National Corp. will donate a branch to Arkadelphia, Arkansas-based Southern Bancorp upon finalizing its acquisition of Delta Trust & Bank. The branch transfer allows Simmons First to adhere to federal regulations limiting acquisitions in places where banks already hold significant market share while also supporting Southern's community development work. “Our focus is specifically on rural communities just like Eudora, which means we are aware of both the challenges they face and the opportunities that exist," Southern Bancorp Inc. CEO Darrin Williams said.
The First Bancshares Inc. of Hattiesburg, Mississippi has completed its acquisition of Bay Bank and its holding company, BCB Holding Co. Inc. The acquisition brings The First's total locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties to 10 and gives the company the largest market share among community banks in those counties. "We are excited about the opportunities that this merger will create in the Mobile market," said M. Ray "Hoppy" Cole, president and CEO of The First. "The combination of Bay Bank and The First will create a community bank focused on its local markets with the products, services and lending capacity of a $1 billion dollar organization."
The CDFI Fund has released its FY 2013 Year in Review report detailing impact metrics for award programs. In FY 2013, $172.6 million was awarded to 201 organizations by the CDFI Program (including healthy foods) and the Bank Enterprise Award Program awarded $17 million. BEA Program applicants increased spending on community development projects by $493.5 million over the prior year. That includes a $427.8 million increase in loans and investments in distressed communities as well as a $55.4 million increase in loans, deposits and technical assistance to CDFIs and a $10.3 million increase in the provision of financial services in distressed communities.
Urban Partnership Bank's newsletter details the bank's Detroit redevelopment projects. Work is underway on Urban Partnership's redevelopment of a 126,000 square-foot building into rental housing and office space for the Archdiocese of Detroit. The bank's increased presence on Detroit holds promise for boosting the city's economy, says Urban Partnership bank senior business banker Beverley Loyd. "This is a great opportunity to help with the ongoing revitalization of Detroit. Creating good jobs, developing quality affordable housing and helping small businesses grow are essential ingredients of a stronger, healthier city," said Loyd.
Mortgage lenders and investors have been desperately trying to figure out how to originate non-QM loans that offer lenders the kind of profits last seen during the days of subprime lending. At a time when loan volumes have plummeted, lenders can charge consumers significantly higher mortgage rates for these products. The first step for many lenders has been introducing niche-products safe enough to compensate for legal dangers. These lenders have introduced loans for self-employed borrowers, foreign nationals and borrowers with blemished credit from a past short sale or foreclosure. They are also focusing on specific property types like condominiums that do not meet standards set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
The latest edition of the Pan American Bank Post is out with the Chicago bank's latest community impact news. Pan American employees volunteered at a number of neighborhood events recently, including Saint Anthony’s Health Fair. The event featured carnival games and food from local restaurants, along with health advice, free immunizations and free health screenings for residents. Pan American Bank employees also participated in Neighborhood Housing Service's Neighborworks day by refurbishing Chicago's Unity Park Garden with some planting and grooming.