E&E News By Politico | Monday, November 6, 2023

"Five groups are angling to lead EPA's largest climate grant program in history, each pitching a different plan to convert billions of federal dollars into lasting change for people and the planet.

EPA has said it will only choose two or three applicants to run the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) — a $14 billion lending facility sometimes dubbed the national green bank. The stakes are high: NCIF is the largest program in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), with a mission to provide affordable financing for tens of thousands of clean technology projects.

EPA is expected to announce awardees for GGRF programs — including the investment fund — by March. Totaling $27 billion, the funding aims to ensure that underserved communities reap the benefits of the green energy transition."

Next City | Tuesday, October 31, 2023

"According to a new report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have grown rapidly in recent years. But as more money flows through the industry, it prompts the question if that growth will translate to support for the communities most in need of CDFIs' services: minority and low-income communities."

CNBC | Monday, October 30, 2023

"President Joe Biden issued a new executive order on artificial intelligence — the U.S. government's first action of its kind — requiring new safety assessments, equity and civil rights guidance and research on AI's impact on the labor market.

While law enforcement agencies have warned that they're ready to apply existing law to abuses of AI and Congress has endeavored to learn more about the technology to craft new laws, the executive order could have a more immediate impact. Like all executive orders, it 'has the force of law,' according to a senior administration official who spoke with reporters on a call Sunday."

U.S. Department of Treasury | Wednesday, October 25, 2023

"According to these QSRs, in a little more than six months, ECIP participants originated a total of approximately $26 billion in loans of which approximately 75%, or $19.4 billion, went to LMI borrowers, borrowers in rural communities, and other categories of Qualified Lending. Approximately one third of ECIP participants' total originations, or $8.6 billion, were Deep Impact Lending, loans made to the hardest-to-serve borrowers, including those that are low income, residents on Tribal lands and in US Territories, and owners of very small businesses."

CQ | Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., secured the votes to be elected speaker Wednesday as the roll call was still underway.

It will bring to an end more than three weeks of disruption after the unprecedented removal of the former speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Oct. 3.

Johnson was the fourth nominee for speaker this month, but the only one who could secure a House majority.

Joint Regulatory Agencies | Tuesday, October 24, 2023

This Tuesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) released a final rule to "strengthen and modernize their regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)."

While the revisions remain complex, and are certain to be controversial, several changes are positive for CDFI-certified banks and their communities. These include the following:

  • Specific nationwide "community development" consideration for activities conducted with CDFIs, including CDFI banks. This includes activities conducted by CDFI banks with other CDFI depositories, minority depositories (MDIs), low income credit unions (LICUs) and woman-owned depositories (WDIs). Previously, the rule only specified MDIs, WDIs, and LICUs.
  • Specific consideration for activities conducted with CDFIs, including CDFI banks, as "responsive" under the Retail Services and Products Test.
  • Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) are also specifically "responsive" under the Retail Services and Products Test.
  • Increased thresholds for bank size standards: Large: $2 billion or more. Intermediate: $600 million to $2 billion. Small: under $600 million.
  • Small banks will have the option to remain under the existing lending test.
  • Deposit data reporting requirements for "large banks" will only apply to a subset with assets greater than $10 billion.

CDBA will work over the coming days to provide a comprehensive summary of changes with particular relevance to CDFI banks and their communities.

Inc. | Friday, October 20, 2023

"The agency is being pressed by some Republican members of Congress to fully pursue delinquent, pandemic-era loans handed to small borrowers. The SBA says it isn't cost effective.

The Small Business Administration continues to face heat for its decision to not fully pursue overdue pandemic-era loans. And some Republican members of Congress remain determined to recoup billions in delinquent funds."

CFPB | Thursday, October 19, 2023

"Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a rule that would accelerate a shift toward open banking, where consumers would have control over data about their financial lives and would gain new protections against companies misusing their data. The proposed Personal Financial Data Rights rule activates a dormant provision of law enacted by Congress more than a decade ago.

It would jumpstart competition by forbidding financial institutions from hoarding a person's data and by requiring companies to share data at the person's direction with other companies offering better products. The proposed rule would allow people to break up with banks that provide bad service and would forbid companies that receive data from misusing or wrongfully monetizing the sensitive personal financial data."

New Haven Register | Wednesday, October 18, 2023

"The New Haven Bank is opening its second branch this fall. The new branch will open at 636 Campbell Ave. in West Haven. Maureen A. Frank, President and Chief Executive Officer, told the Hartford Business Journal that the new branch will be open either later this month or in early November."

Roll Call | Wednesday, October 18, 2023

"The Senate voted 53-44 Wednesday to overturn a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule requiring personal information on small-business borrowers, including race and sex, from the financial institutions that lend to them.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., touted the resolution introduced by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., under the Congressional Review Act as striking a blow to President Joe Biden's regulators. Resolutions under the CRA require only a simple majority in the Senate."