Banks and credit unions oppose federal proposals to let the Small Business Administration make some 7(a) loans directly in addition to its traditional role of guaranteeing credits extended by private lenders. The Biden administration's $3.5 trillion spending package would give the SBA nearly $4.5 billion to make 7(a) loans of $150,000 or less directly to borrowers. The cap for direct loans to manufacturers would be $1 million. Legislation approved by the House Small Business Committee last week included an option for the SBA to originate small 7(a) loans "through partnerships with third parties" — which presumably could include some banks and credit unions. At the same time, the bill would authorize SBA "to originate and disburse direct loans." With details still in short supply, Ian McKendry, a spokesman for the American Bankers Association, said in a statement that his group "want[s] to better understand why it makes sense to create a direct lending program to compete with banks that are already meeting demand for 7(a) loans." “It could have the unintended effect of making it more difficult for some lenders to continue participation in the 7(a) program,” McKendry said.
CDBA CEO Jeannine Jacokes was featured on the latest episode of "NextGen Banker," a pocast hosted by Sunrise Banks CEO David Reiling. The podcast approaches the unprecedented opportunities in the banking industry over the last decade and how bankers can be technologically savyy. On the most recent episode, Ms. Jacokes discusses community banking as well as what she’s learned during her time in government and how bankers can create partnerships with legislators.
"My mom always told me to be careful what you pray for," says Damon Jenkins, as he steps into banking history as leader for Minnesota's first Black-owned and Black-controlled full service bank. Jenkins has joined Detroit's First Independence Bank to head the financial institution's Minnesota expansion this fall. The banking venture is in part a response to the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. And because the incident took place in the neighborhood he grew up in, Jenkins says the tragedy hit him hard. Jenkins’ prayers and preparation landed him his new role as First Independence Bank senior vice president and regional consultant for the Twin Cities. In this role, he will direct all facets of operations for the retail branch offices in the Minneapolis area.
The Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge, Va., — a small town in the Alleghany Highlands — opened in 1906. Over the years, the three-story architectural masterpiece has hosted vaudeville shows, movies, and live performances by stars such as Gene Autry, the Drifters and the Count Basie Orchestra. In 2009, six years after the Masonic had been donated to the town of Clifton Forge, a group of residents set out to renovate the deteriorating landmark. Their dedication bore fruit in 2016, when the Masonic reopened as a stunning performing arts venue, movie theater and educational facility. I'm proud that Virginia Community Capital, a member of Appalachian Community Capital, the organization I'm honored to lead, was one of the lenders that provided financing for the project. And I know that for Clifton Forge — a community that has struggled since the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway's maintenance shop there closed decades ago — the new Masonic is much more than a beautiful building.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is soliciting comments on proposed rules to rescind the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule issued in 2020 and replace it with rules adopted jointly by the Federal banking agencies in 1995, as amended. This action facilitates the ongoing interagency work to modernize the CRA regulatory framework and promote consistency for all insured depository institutions. The proposed rules would apply to all national banks and all federal and state savings associations. Comments must be received on or before October 29, 2021.
Rising two stories, the gray steel framework of BNA Bank's downtown Tupelo location is in its early stages. When complete, the 18,000-square-foot building will be home to the New Albany-based bank as well as a couple of other tenants. Bank officials, joined by city of Tupelo and Lee County officials and others, had a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday at the site on West Main Street next to the railroad tracks. "We've done well in those years," CEO Bo Collins said. "Northeast Mississippi is our golden spot on earth. We feel like it's a diamond in the rough." With some $678 million in assets, BNA Bank has expanded into Lee and Lafayette Counties in recent years. Its first foray outside its home market was in Tupelo in the Belden area in 2007, followed by an opening on Tom Watson Drive in 2015.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits today that will spur investment and economic growth in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. A total of 100 Community Development Entities (CDEs) were awarded tax credit allocations, made through the calendar year (CY) 2020 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program. The 7 CDBA member banks receiving awards were Central Bank of Kansas City, The Harbor Bank of Maryland, Peoples Bank, Legacy Bank & Trust, Sunrise Banks, Southern Bancorp, and United Bank.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new rule designed to help small businesses gain access to the credit they need and deserve by increasing transparency in the lending marketplace. This rule, mandated by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Act, would, if finalized, require lenders to disclose information about their lending to small businesses, allowing community organizations, researchers, lenders, and others to better support small business and community development needs. Under the proposal, lenders would be required to report the amount and type of small business credit applied for and extended, demographic information about small business credit applicants, and key elements of the price of the credit offered. The CFPB also launched a web portal for small business entrepreneurs to share their stories about applying for credit, which will help the CFPB understand small business entrepreneurs' challenges and successes in accessing credit.
Detroit-based First Independence Bank, one of only 18 Black-owned full-service banks in the country, has filed an application to open a branch in the Twin Cities. The first branch is set to open in November. Five banks in the Twin Cities—Bank of America, Bremer Bank, Huntington Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo—are each supporting First Independence Bank's arrival with capital, research, marketing, and other services to assure its start-up and long-term success. Gov. Tim Walz welcomed the news. "In Minnesota, we know that a strong economy is an equitable economy, and the opening of First Independence Bank is a notable milestone to achieving an economy that works for all Minnesotans," Walz said in a joint statement with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan released on Aug. 19. "I offer my warmest congratulations to First Independence Bank, and I thank our entire banking community in Minnesota for providing the support and capital to make this a reality."
FUND Community Institute is conducting a research project on community development strategies. We welcome all CDFIs to participate in our survey at the link provided. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and thanks in advance for your participation.