The history of America's earliest African American banks is something that is not widely known. These banks served as an important source of credit while also offering innumerable other benefits to the consumers and communities that they served. The latest volume of the Kansas City Fed's historical book series details the stories and accomplishments of these bankers.
Earline Williams, 76, said she was gifted the best Christmas present when she received a phone call on the first of the year from Mississippi-based BankPlus, telling her she had been approved to receive funds from the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP grants are awarded through members like BankPlus to provide grant funds for rehabilitation and modification of owner-occupied housing of eligible, special-needs individuals. Since SNAP's inception in 2009, more than $15.1 million has been awarded in grants through FHLB Dallas member institutions to assist more than 3,000 families across FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.
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.