Teri Williams is President & COO and owner of OneUnited Bank, the largest Black owned bank in the country and supporter of the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movement. She is responsible for the Bank's strategic initiatives, as well as the day to day operations, including all retail branches, marketing, compliance, lending, information technology, customer support, legal, and human resources. Ms. Williams brings 30 years of financial services expertise including Bank of America and American Express, where she was one of the youngest Vice Presidents.
The Credit Insecurity Index is a new tool that helps to provide a more comprehensive view of credit access and community credit health. By moving beyond metrics that traditionally focus on residents without a credit file or score, this Index incorporates an additional assessment of residents who are "credit constrained," that is, unlikely to obtain credit at choice to manage emergencies, take advantage of opportunities, or invest in one's future. The report, Unequal Access to Credit: The Hidden Impact of Credit Constraints, explains how the Index provides a more complete picture of communities' financial security by scoring credit insecurity for states and counties over time.
Sourced from the above New York Fed article, this map is a vivid depiction of credit inequality in the United States. The dark areas show counties where a large proportion of the population has no access to credit, while the lighter areas are considered "credit-assured" or "credit-likely."
Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act could serve as a catalyst for banks to become more active in financing projects inside Opportunity Zones, according to some development experts. Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives to investors in development projects located low and moderate-income neighborhoods. Under proposed changes to the 42-year-old Community Reinvestment Act, any type of lending conducted in a low- or moderate-income census tract located within an in Opportunity Zones would qualify for CRA credit. Jeannine Jacokes, the CEO of the Community Development Bankers Association, said her biggest concern is that banks will focus only on projects that promise the highest and fastest return on investment. "This will encourage banks to do things in Opportunity Zones, but it will exacerbate the concerns about gentrification," she said.
A group of 6 CDFIs known as the Partners for Rural Transformation has released a paper detailing the work of CDFIs in persistent poverty areas. The report finds that those in persistent poverty areas are overwhelmingly in rural areas and people of color. Despite evidence of success by CDFIs in improving employment, housing, banking and infrastructure, philanthropic, bank and federal investment in development in persistent poverty regions continue to lag. The report details why this is as well as receommendations for advancing social and economic opportunity in distressed communities.
After nearly two years of anticipation, financial regulators unveiled a sweeping proposal Thursday to reform how they implement the Community Reinvestment Act. The plan, released at a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board meeting, will overhaul CRA assessment boundaries, criteria for activities earning credit in CRA exams and how banks are scored overall for their performance. If finalized, the proposal would be the first significant update to the 1977 law in over two decades. The proposal has been championed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Despite support from the FDIC, the Federal Reserve has been unwilling to sign on to the draft plan, raising concern about competing CRA regimes.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Minneapolis, Richmond, San Francisco, the Board of Governors, and the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund will co-sponsor the CDFI Symposium on May 19-20, 2020 at the St. Louis Fed. This convening of researchers, industry leaders, policymakers and funders is designed to introduce and promote the awareness of current CDFI research across various disciplines (i.e. law, public policy, business, economics, etc.). The CDFI Fund invites the submission of papers, which are due Jan. 31, 2020.
It’s no secret that racism has been baked into the American banking system. There are few black executives in the upper echelons of most financial institutions. Leading banks have recently paid restitution to black employees for isolating them from white peers, placing them in the poorest branches and cutting them off from career opportunities. Black customers are sometimes profiled, viewed with suspicion just for entering a bank and questioned over the most basic transactions. This year, researchers for the National Bureau of Economic Research found that black mortgage borrowers were charged higher interest rates than white borrowers and were denied mortgages that would have been approved for white applicants
Liberty Bank and Trust Company and its parent bank holding company (Liberty Financial Services Inc.) and Louisville Development Bancorp Inc. (the holding company for Metro Bank Inc.) announced their agreement that Louisville Development Bancorp will be acquired by Liberty Bank and Trust Company in a share exchange transaction. The cash transaction is subject to Louisville Development Bancorp shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2020. Liberty Bank and Trust Company operates 16 offices in eight states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Alabama, Illinois and Texas. On. Sept. 30, Liberty had approximately $628 million in assets and $541 million in deposits. Metro Bank operates a single office in Louisville, Kentucky. On Sept. 30 Metro Bank had approximately $26 million in assets and $21 million in deposits.
From former Comptroller of the Currency Gene Ludwig: financial institutions are eager to serve customers with middle-class incomes. But in other parts of the country — places where a greater proportion of local residents live below the poverty line — banks are few and far between. For much of the 20th century, policymakers struggled to identify effective ways to address this inequity. But 25 years ago, Washington took a key step in establishing a federal fund to support so-called Community Development Financial Institutions that serve communities traditional banks often leave behind. Now, CDFIs have a proven track record and hold perhaps even more promise to advance financial well-being in low- and moderate-income communities.