Arkadelphia's Southern Bancorp Inc. is paying $28 million cash for FCB Financial Services Inc., the holding company of Jonesboro's Premier Bank of Arkansas. The addition of the $227.4 million-asset bank, which operates full-service offices in Craighead and Crittenden counties, will enlarge Southern Bancorp's footprint to 16 Arkansas counties. The deal will also provide the gateway to Jonesboro, Marion and West Memphis for the $2 billion-asset Southern Bancorp Bank. The community development lender will step into those markets where Premier holds deposits of: $155.3 million in West Memphis, an 11.82% share that ranks third among eight banks in the $1.3 billion-deposit market; $130.5 million in Marion, a 36.31% share that is tops among five banks in the $359 million-deposit market; $12.8 million in Jonesboro, a 0.36% share that ranks 18th among 20 banks in the $3.5 billion-deposit market.
Bank regulators are sharpening their tools for identifying and curbing discriminatory practices in the home appraisal industry. The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Credit Union Administration plan to devise new ways to monitor appraisal processes for racial, ethnic and sex-based biases, according to a report published this week by a White House task force aimed at addressing long-running prejudices in appraisals. The agencies will also scrutinize mortgage lenders to identify patterns of bias, work with other government agencies to enforce new rules and create a shared database of historical appraisals to benefit research and enforcement efforts. They will also take steps to improve the reevaluation process for buyers who feel their properties have been unfairly discounted and design guidance for computer-generated valuations.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development recently announced the inaugural awardees of the Commercial Property Acquisition Fund — a program that provides eligible businesses down payment assistance for the acquisition of commercial property in the District. The Commercial Property Acquisition Fund counts as the first grant program in the District of Columbia created to help entrepreneurs and small business owners who face barriers to accessing capital to purchase their commercial properties. The fund provides down payment assistance through grants up to $750,000 or 25% of the total acquisition cost, whichever is lower, to eligible businesses looking to maintain and expand their operations by acquiring commercial property in the District. The $4 million Commercial Property Acquisition Fund is administered by the largest Black-led bank in the country, City First Bank, with its co-headquarters located in the District.
A postal reform bill that passed Congress this week could offer another opportunity to install a postal banking system in the United States, according to a review by the Prospect. While the $107 billion in savings from ending the Postal Service's prefunding of retirement benefits and moving postal retirees onto Medicare has received most of the headlines, Section 103 of the bill, subsection 3704, restates USPS authority to partner to "provide property and nonpostal services" to federal government agencies, as long as whatever results raises revenue for the Postal Service. This would appear to supersede one aspect of a ban on non-postal products from the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, and could pave the way to providing services that mirror a bank account for any American who wants one.
The Board of Directors of National Cooperative Bank (NCB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Casey Fannon as the bank's new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Fannon has been serving as the Acting CEO of NCB since the sudden death of the bank's former CEO, Chuck Snyder, in November. "The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that we have unanimously approved Casey Fannon as NCB's Chief Executive Officer effectively immediately," stated Debra Huddleston, Chair of NCB's Board of Directors. "In his 25 years at the bank, Casey has demonstrated the expertise, commitment, and passion to lead NCB into the future. The Board has great trust in Casey's leadership and we look forward to working with him in advancing NCB's mission." Since joining NCB in 1996, Mr. Fannon has dedicated his entire career to National Cooperative Bank and has served as its President since March 2020 and Acting CEO since November 2021.
Misperceptions of risk among many lenders make Black-owned small businesses twice as likely to get rejected for bank loans as white-owned small businesses. A new fund raised by the Expanding Black Business Credit Network aims to shift the narrative. The Black-led consortium of community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, has raised $29 million for the Black Vision Fund to increase the amount of capital available for lending by its members. The goal: reduce the racial wealth gap. The loans will be underwritten by community lenders including Jackson, Miss.-based Hope Credit Union, the National Community Investment Fund in Chicago, Texas Mezzanine Fund, Minneapolis-based Metropolitan Economic Development Association, City First Broadway Bank in D.C. and Los Angeles, Community First Fund in Philadelphia, and Florida-based Black Business Investment Fund.
Andy Anderson has been with the Bank of Anguilla since 1983. He is now the CEO and President of the very bank that foreclosed on the house in which he and his mother lived when he was a child after his parents divorced. This is but one fascinating story found throughout Anderson's career and also one that demonstrates how far the bank has come and speaks to its' mission and purpose today. "We try to lend to people that other banks might not even talk to, primarily because of where we live and the fact that we know everyone in the area. Certainly you have to say ‘No’ sometimes, but we go out of our way to try and find a way to help any customer that comes through our doors who truly want to help themselves.”
Days ago, the Detroit-based First Independent Bank (FIB) opened for business at the former Wells Fargo bank branch located at 3430 University Avenue S.E. The bank's chairman and CEO, Kenneth Kelly, noted in a press release that the University Avenue branch is "located in the community where it is visible and accessible to all in the Twin Cities... We look at the fact that it is close to the Metro Green Line and bus routes so that under-resourced and unbanked members of the community can easily reach us and use our services to improve their financial outlook." FIB, one of the 17 Black-owned full-service banks in the country, has received approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to set up shop in the Twin Cities. The current expansion into the Minnesota market is the result of collaborative action on capital enhancement, marketing, and research with Bank of America, Bremer Bank, Huntington Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Federal banking regulators are expected to issue a long-awaited proposal for modernizing requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act as early as this month, officials said Monday. The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency plan to issue a joint revamp of the anti-redlining law after years of interagency tension over the issue during the Trump administration. Last year, acting Comptroller Michal Hsu rescinded a breakaway rule change made in 2020 under former Comptroller Joseph Otting that had for the first time created a different interpretation among the regulators of how banks must comply. Since then, the three agencies have been working together on how to move forward with a unified modernization of the 1970s-era law. The agencies are eyeing issuing a formal proposal in March, said Mark Pearce, director of FDIC’s division of depositor and consumer protection, at a Monday event hosted by the Consumer Bankers Association.
Low-income, less-educated, and minority households are less likely to have bank accounts—which are essential for households' financial well-being. People have cited high fees, minimum balance requirements, and other reasons why they don't have bank accounts. Federal agencies have worked to increase banking access. For example, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation piloted a public awareness campaign on the benefits of bank accounts. Are these agencies' efforts working? Many of the agencies don't know—so we recommended developing performance measures for these efforts to help determine how effective they are.