National Community Reinvestment Coalition | Tuesday, February 20, 2024

"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."

CFPB | Friday, February 16, 2024

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today reported on the first set of results from the newly updated Terms of Credit Card Plans survey. The survey data reveal that large banks are offering worse credit card terms and interest rates than small banks and credit unions, regardless of credit risk. In fact, the 25 largest credit card issuers charged customers interest rates of 8 to 10 points higher than small- and medium-sized banks and credit unions. This difference can translate to $400 to $500 in additional annual interest for the average cardholder."

POLITICSNY | Wednesday, February 14, 2024

"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."

CNN | Monday, February 12, 2024

"The nation's economy is doing remarkably well. Inflation is coming down, unemployment remains low and growth is robust. One glaring exception, however, is housing.

According to the National Association of Realtors, it is more difficult for first-time buyers to purchase a home than at any time in two generations, short-circuiting the path to homeownership for millions, bogging down the housing market and hampering the nation's economic growth."

Wall Street Journal | Tuesday, February 6, 2024

"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."

American Bankers Association | Monday, February 5, 2024

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.

Governor Josh Shapiro | Monday, February 5, 2024

"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."

House Ways and Means | Wednesday, January 31, 2024

On January 31st, the House passed a bipartisan tax bill that includes the first major expansion of Low Income Housing Tax Credits since 2000. The bill also includes a modest expansion of the child tax credit, as well as business tax credits.

The Senate Finance Committee will consider the bill next - CDBA is working with colleagues in national CDFI and banking trades to promote the inclusion of the Warner/Wicker CDFI Investment Tax Credit in a Senate version of the broader bill.

CFPB | Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The CFPB has proposed a rule that would prohibit NSF fees in certain circumstances:

"When a consumer's attempted withdrawal, debit, payment, or transfer transaction amount exceeds the available funds in their account, currently, a financial institution might decline the transaction and charge the consumer a fee, often called a nonsufficient funds (NSF) fee.

The proposed rule would prohibit NSF fees on transactions that are declined instantaneously or near-instantaneously—that is, those declined with no significant perceptible delay after the consumer initiates the transaction. This prohibition would cover transactions involving the use of debit cards, ATMs, or certain person-to-person apps. The proposed rule would declare that charging such fees would constitute an abusive practice under the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

The proposed rule, borrowing the term "covered financial institutions" as defined by Regulation E, would cover financial institutions of any size and depositories as well as non-depositories."

Banking with Interest | Tuesday, January 23, 2024

"John Pitts, head of policy for Plaid, argues a new CFPB open-data proposal could transform the financial services industry. He says bankers, many of whom are skeptical of the plan, could see significant opportunities, including a greater ability to attract new customers."