"The murder of George Floyd in the spring of 2020 pushed discussions about racial equity to the center of national attention. Though sparked by murderous police brutality, the wave of protests across every major American city that summer explicitly extended beyond the critique of state-sponsored racial violence. Protesters and pundits expanded their lens to include wider structural racism across American society – and throughout the US economy.
The resulting movement, broadly associated with Black Lives Matter, challenged all sorts of institutions to take action in support of increased racial economic equity – including many that had no direct role in policing. Corporate America found itself confronted with its own role in shaping and retrenching such inequities – and many firms responded by publicly embracing various initiatives designed to redress their legacies of inequitable investment and curtailed economic opportunity.
The corporate embrace of racial equity efforts has taken various forms, including pledges of philanthropic capital, revamped internal policies related to diversity in the workplace and commitments to expand or invent new lines of business tailored to the issues that summer made unavoidable."
"Carlos Naudon leads Ponce Bank, a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) founded in the Bronx in 1960. Ponce Provides banking, loans, and education to underserved communities throughout NYC while supporting dozens of not-for-profits through its Ponce-de-Leon Foundation. Ranked #1 for community investment by Mighty Deposits, Ponce is committed to mission-driven banking and ranked #1 in housing focus among its CDFI peers while making 70% of recent mortgages to first-time homebuyers."
"JPMorgan aims to put 70% of the U.S. population within a 10-minute drive of a branch. At Bank of America, the goal is 80% of the population within a 15-minute drive.
That also means the banks have to learn new ways to capture customers at various income levels. Federal law requires banks to do business in low-income areas, and both JPMorgan and Bank of America say they are committed to having 30% of branches in those tracts."
The American Bankers Association (ABA), Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and local Texas trade associations filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC for "exceeding their statutory authority and acting arbitrarily and capriciously with their recent amendments to the Community Reinvestment Act rules. The lawsuit asks the court to vacate the Final Rules, and the groups will also seek a preliminary injunction pausing the new rules while the court decides the merits of the case."
Related, CDBA recently hosted a webinar, "Why is the New CRA Good for CDFI Banks?" This is because the new rule – for the first time – explicitly recognizes CDFI banks in important and positive ways:
· CDFI banks now have expanded opportunities for attracting outside deposits and investments, as well as leveraging lending and service partnership from other banks seeking CRA credit.
· CDFI banks can attract support from other banks regardless of geography – not just those in Assessment Areas.
· Banks seeking CRA credit will be motivated to partner with CDFI banks.
· CDFI banks can even get credit for engaging in partnerships with each other.
Members are encouraged to reach out to Sarah Wen to access the webinar recording.
"Today, Governor Josh Shapiro is delivering on a major budget priority, opening the application window for small diverse businesses across the Commonwealth to apply for a total of $10.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
Grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be awarded to historically disadvantaged businesses that were in operation on or before March 17, 2020, and were impacted economically by COVID-19. All applications submitted between February 5 and February 23, 2024, will be considered for funding."