OCC | Monday, January 8, 2024

The OCC has issued a new set of FAQs related to SSBCI 2.0.

"These FAQs address the following topics:

  • Reporting on loans to businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • Regulatory treatment for loans using certain SSBCI-supported credit enhancements.
  • Considerations for loans in Indian Country.
  • Community Reinvestment Act considerations."
American Banker | Monday, January 8, 2024

"Another high-profile departure from the House Financial Services Committee underscores the fading power of first-hand banking expertise in Congress.

There's a dwindling number of bankers in Congress, a trend that could hurt policymaking on banking-focused committees, experts said. The upcoming retirement of Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a former community banker in Missouri, leaves few senior Republicans with direct experience in the industry in high-profile positions on any banking-related committees in the House or Senate."

American Banker | Friday, January 5, 2024

Southern Bancorp in Little Rock, Arkansas, is among the biggest beneficiaries of the $8.7 billion Emergency Capital Investment Program the Treasury Department unveiled two years ago. Now, CEO Darrin Williams says he's busy putting the $250 million in low-cost equity capital his community bank received to work. 

The process has run him a little ragged, Williams admitted in a recent interview. 

"We have opportunity frustration," Williams said. "There are so many opportunities. Part of my role here is to really crystallize and focus on those that will have the deepest impact on people and this organization. … I'm staying up nights trying to figure out how to make this all work."

To be sure, an overabundance of capital isn't a bad problem for a bank to have, especially a $2.6 billion-asset community development financial institution that struggled to raise it in the past. Between 2017 and 2021, Williams conducted a campaign that raised $50 million — a fifth of what the Treasury Department invested in Southern in July 2022. 

The bank's plans for deploying the ECIP cash include a major investment in home lending, boosts to consumer and Small Business Administration lending, as well as pursuit of mergers and acquisitions. The ultimate aim is to double Southern's size over five years — the idea being a bigger bank can do more to help disadvantaged communities.

Independent Banker | Monday, January 1, 2024

"Jamie Santistevan, senior vice president of risk and compliance for $273 million-asset Native American Bank, N.A., is staying alert to support risk management and compliance. 'First, we're watching changes to the beneficial ownership reporting rules from FinCEN,' he says. 'We're concerned about a lack of specific guidance to both banks and businesses clarifying data collection and reporting requirements.'"

Bankrate | Monday, January 1, 2024

"Spring Bank has only one branch, which is located in the Bronx, New York, but it is a member of the MoneyPass ATM network, which has around 40,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, and offers fee-free access to Citibank branch ATMs. It also has a highly rated mobile app.

The U.S. Treasury has designated Spring Bank as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), in recognition of the investments and loans the bank makes in low- and moderate-income communities in New York City.

The bank offers competitive yields on checking, savings and money market accounts and CDs. Opening deposit requirements are low for most accounts."

Federal Reserve Bank of New York | Monday, January 1, 2024

"The New York Fed's Educational Comic Book Series brings readers on an out-of-this-world journey to teach about basic economic principles and the Federal Reserve's role in the financial system.

For classroom or independent learning, the series is created for students of all ages, and stimulates curiosity and raises awareness of careers in economics and finance. In addition, lesson plans created for each comic book meet national and state standards for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Comic books are available to students, teachers, and community organizations at no charge. Download your digital copy below. Educators may use the online form to request free printed copies by mail."

Next City | Tuesday, December 19, 2023

"Launching a small business takes capital, and many entrepreneurs who find themselves not eligible for funding from traditional banks turn to CDFIs for financial support. But, CDFIs can also have limited resources and operate under constraints. For instance, they may fund loans but not have the capacity to invest in their own marketing, technology or staff retention.

Scale Link is working to change that."

S&P Global Market Intelligence | Friday, December 15, 2023

"A surge in brokered deposits is pushing US banks' wholesale funding near levels that prevailed in 2018 and 2019 as funding costs continue to reset higher.

Brokered deposits, which tend to be high cost and generally do not represent direct customer relationships, increased 7.4% sequentially to $1.295 trillion in the third quarter, making the funding type the largest among wholesale categories, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Overall wholesale funding increased 2.9% to $3.285 trillion."

Yahoo! Finance | Thursday, December 14, 2023

"United Bank has provided $350,000 in soft financing to The Gateway Companies for the new construction of Hill at Sand Mountain Apartments, a 56-unit multi-family affordable housing complex in Rainsville, Alabama. The soft financing is funded through United Bank's 2020 Capital Magnet Fund award from the CDFI Fund division of the US Treasury Department. United Bank is also providing $2.5 million in construction financing to the project through its participation in Synovus Bank's $11.9 million construction facility."

Wall Street Journal | Monday, December 11, 2023

"Homeownership has become a pipe dream for more Americans, even those who could afford to buy just a few years ago.

Many would-be buyers were already feeling stretched thin by home prices that shot quickly higher in the pandemic, but at least mortgage rates were low. Now that they are high, many people are just giving up."