City First Bank of D.C. has released its 2015 annual report, documenting a year of impact in underserved areas of the nation’s capital. In 2015, City First made $27 million in new loans and deployed $26 million in New Markets Tax Credit equity. The Atlas Performing Arts Center, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, was one organization that benefited from City First’s support. When Jane Lang set out to raise the $24 million it would take to repair the dilapidated theater, most traditional banks warned her against investing in such a distressed neighborhood. “City First came in at an early point, but at a prudent point, where it looked like things were going to come together to create a vibrant community. They were the critical element at a critical moment,” Lang says. Today, that neighborhood is among the city’s cultural hotspots.
Chicago’s Urban Partnership Bank has launched a campaign to raise at least $15 million in new equity. The bank's chairman, David Vitale, is meeting with CEOs of locally headquartered banks like Northern Trust, PrivateBancorp, Wintrust Financial and MB Financial to help the bank recapitalize. Urban Partnership is operating under an Aug. 5 consent order with state and federal bank regulators that requires it to raise capital and pursue a new business plan. Investing in Urban Partnership could appeal to local bankers because, as a CDFI, an investment in UPB will give their banks credit under the Community Reinvestment Act. Their choice: Build their own branches in parts of the city they might prefer to avoid or help prop up Urban Partnership, which already is serving many of those areas.
Neighborhood Bancorp in San Diego, holding company of Neighborhood National Bank, has an agreement in place to raise $6 million from Chicago's Taylor Asset Management in Chicago. The deal will effectively double the bank's capital, raising the bank's Tier 1 capital ratio to more than 18% and its total risk-based capital to more than 38%. "This agreement represents an important step in recapitalizing and positioning the bank for future growth," said Dan Yates, the bank's president and chief executive. Taylor Asset Management has been involved in the turn arounds of several California banks, including Tri-Valley Bank in San Ramon, Coast National Bank in San Luis Obispo, Pan Pacific Bank in Fremont and Sierra Vista Bank in Folsom.