This week's CDBA Storybank video highlights First Eagle Bank in Chicago, Illinois. Its featured client, MDC Economic Development Corporation, specializes in public housing renovation in the city's most underserved areas. MDC is part of the Do For Self Community Development Corporation, an initiative to train, employ, and develop former gang members, ex-offenders, and other socially disenfranchised members of the community so they can transform the communities they live in while earning a legitimate income. Watch the video here.
In Washington, D.C., communities east of the Anacostia River haven't benefited from the same economic development as the rest of the city. Additionally, the past decade has seen a steady decline in brick and mortar banks across the country. All this has led to a diminishing of access to financial services for low-income working families and minorities, obstacles to small business lending, and a stifling of capital availability in areas that need it most. Now JPMorgan Chase, along with their expansion into the city, are looking to meet these needs in a variety of ways. Read more here.
Last year, Congress introduced the Opportunity Zones program for economic development in distressed areas. These zones represent low income rural and urban areas that can benefit from private economic revitalization. For investors, the short term benefit of an Opportunity Zone is primarily the deferral of capital gains taxes, if the investment in the zone is maintained. Virginia Community Capital says it is cautious but optimistic of the positive effects of this program for areas like Franklin County.
Citizens National Bank's John C. McRae has been honored in this year's Bank Investment Consultant's Top 100 Bank Advisors list. Bank Investment Consultant is a leading publication in the industry and has named McRae in this list three unique times. McRae serves on the bank's Wealth Management Division, is a Branch Manager, and also a Senior Financial Advisor. "I am still humbled by this recognition," says McRae. "I look forward to continuing to serve our clients in the accumulation, preservation and transfer of wealth."
As consumers migrate to banking apps, it is tempting for lenders to focus solely on improving that experience. But new data suggests that consumers aren't abandoning other platforms completely. Smartphone apps have become the most popular way for consumers to use mobile banking, but half of those customers also access mobile banking through a browser on their phones, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. "We can no longer afford to ignore the online portal in deference to the app," said Emmett Higdon, director of digital banking at Javelin Strategy & Research. Read more here.
The Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA), the national trade association of Community Development Financial Institutions and mission focused banks, is seeking a high energy and dynamic candidate for the position of Public Policy Director. The ideal candidate will have 3-5 years of public policy/advocacy experience and a passion for community development. The position reports to our Chief Executive Officer, but works with all members of the team. This is a full time 40 hour per week position located at PCG's offices in Washington, D.C. Click here to apply.
Opportunity Zones, the brainchild of Silicon Valley's Sean Parker, provide investors massive tax advantages for investing in "distressed" areas. However, while the program's intent is to help those living in the zones, a huge influx of capital could also lead to these populations' displacement. Given that some investors may be more interested in the tax breaks than social impact, it may be that the financiers won't do much to prevent this. So where do things currently stand for all parties involved?
Policymakers have long struggled to modernize the decades-old Community Reinvestment Act. But translating that momentum into an actual reform plan in 2019 will not be easy. Sticking points range from how to define a community amid rapid change in delivery models, to creating a single uniform CRA metric for banks to follow. However, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting remains hopeful. "Everybody recognizes this is something that collectively we need to fix," he said. "Everybody is prepared to roll up our sleeves and sit down and talk."
The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) has named Industrial Bank's U-Street location the city's Location of the Month. The designation promotes exemplary DC locales as prime settings for movie and television productions looking for filming locations. The bank recently underwent major renovations that helped it win this distinction, adds Melanee Woodard, Assistant Vice President of Industrial Bank, ""Now you can come in, sit down, have a complimentary coffee, talk with our team and experience all that comes with our service." Read more here.
This week, small banks serving America's impoverished communities were recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund with $25 million in Bank Enterprise Awards (BEA Awards) to a record-breaking 119 banks and thrifts headquartered in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Of the awardees, 61 are members of the Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA), who received a total of $13.8 million in awards (55 percent of the total award dollars).