The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday released a discussion paper that examines the pros and cons of a potential U.S. central bank digital currency, or CBDC. It invites comment from the public and is the first step in a discussion of whether and how a CBDC could improve the safe and effective domestic payments system. The paper does not favor any policy outcome. "We look forward to engaging with the public, elected representatives, and a broad range of stakeholders as we examine the positives and negatives of a central bank digital currency in the United States," Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said. The paper summarizes the current state of the domestic payments system and discusses the different types of digital payment methods and assets that have emerged in recent years, including stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies. It concludes by examining the potential benefits and risks of a CBDC, and identifies specific policy considerations.
The new Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund program launched with more than $9.7 million in grants for 12 projects throughout the state, former Gov. Ralph Northam announced Jan. 13. The fund, developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development, expands access to capital and technical assistance for small businesses adversely or disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release. Additionally, the state is granting $1.5 million to Virginia Community Capital’s Economic Equity Fund Initiative to provide low-cost financing for 15 or more small-, women-, and minority-owned businesses while expanding its loan loss reserve and building internal capacity by hiring a technical assistance provider for clients and borrowers.
The Center for Disability-Inclusive Community Development (CDICD), managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), announced today the three winners and their partners of its Second Annual Inclusive Community Development Awards: True Link Financial and Sunrise Banks; Life Asset, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI); and Goodwill Industries of East Texas and Prosperity Bank. The purpose of the awards is to raise the visibility of financial institutions' and community-based organizations' activities that are promising and exemplary in support of low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals with disabilities to improve their financial stability and health and be more active participants in adding value to our nation's economy.
At the moment the Great Recession hit in 2008, America boasted 215 minority-owned banks. Today, only 146 so-called "minority depository institutions" remain. That decline, a trend that might be termed "The Great Winnowing," began well before the bottom fell out of the nation's housing market, and it reflects, in part, a broader trend toward consolidation within the world of finance. But Washington has also played an egregious role. Recent congressional funding boosts in these institutions are a good start. But to end the vicious cycle, Washington must be much more aggressive given the inevitable dips in the economy.
A group of community banks is poised to fulfill a high-tech goal it set last year: to let customers buy and sell bitcoin on mobile banking apps. An estimated 300 banks, some of which unveiled their plans in June, will go live in the first or second quarter with this service with the help of the fintech NYDIG. The banks, the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America have made investments in the company as part of the effort. Several regulatory and security concerns have been worked out in the months since the initial announcement, and partnerships and integrations between NYDIG and the banks’ existing technology vendors have been completed, according to participants. The initiative addresses a need customers have clearly expressed, banking and trade group officials said.
For their fourth annual ranking of top impact companies, Real Leaders recognizes the rise in purpose-driven businesses by expanding their Real Leaders Impact Awards list to our biggest yet with 200 winners! Included are a diverse group of companies from around the world that prove that businesses can thrive and help build a better world. Included among the winners are CDBA members Beneficial State Bank and Sunrise Banks.
US policymakers have been urged by a senior co-op figure to invest more in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) at a hearing last week. The comments, from John Holdsclaw IV, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Cooperative Bank, were reported in a blog post from co-op sector body NCBA-CLUSA. The hearing was focused on how CDFIs enhance economic opportunities in underserved communities, and looked for ways the federal government can better support their work. The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Community Development heard Mr Holdsclaw urge Congress to increase annual funding to USD$1bn for the CDFI Fund, among other priorities.
This week, Wells Fargo joined the list of large banks introducing short-term credit products — and the much smaller OneUnited Bank in Boston unveiled a version of its own, intended as an alternative to payday loans. OneUnited's loan, called CashPlease, is designed to help customers of the $635 million-asset Black-owned bank manage their cash flow without the hurdles and higher costs some other lenders might impose. Instead of conducting credit checks, it looks at applicants' checking-account activity and other aspects of their relationship with the bank. Funds arrive within four hours of the loan's approval. OneUnited's rollout of CashPlease comes after the introduction of similar small-dollar loans by several large banks. In October 2020, for instance, Bank of America launched Balance Assist, which offers loans of up to $500 for a flat $5 fee and a repayment period of three monthly installments.
Do you know what your top 3 community development priorities are for 2022? Or are you overwhelmed with competing priorities and not sure where to start? Register now for this free webinar with CRA expert Linda Ezuka to learn how to create an effective and actionable CRA strategy for your institution. Some of the topics we'll cover include planning considerations given your current CRA exam cycle, aligning CRA initiatives with your bank's core business strategy, developing your CRA strategy and goals, partnering with business units to set performance targets that are mutually beneficial, and creating an action plan with clear steps to help you hit the ground running.
On Tuesday, January 18, 2022 the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) is conducting an informational webinar on its new Title VI Compliance Worksheet. All fiscal year 2022 CDFI Fund award applicants are being asked to complete a Title VI Compliance Worksheet once annually with their applications. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Award applicants must be compliant with federal civil rights requirements in order to be eligible to receive federal financial and technical assistance awards from the CDFI Fund. This requirement applies to award applicants, as well as their prospective sub-recipients that are not direct beneficiaries of federal financial assistance (e.g., Depository Institutions Holding Company and their Subsidiary Depository Institutions).