American Banker: Fifth Third ups CRA pledge by $2 billion amid Chicago expansion

American Banker,  October 29, 2018: Fifth Third ups CRA pledge by $2 billion amid Chicago expansion

Fifth Third Bancorp on Monday announced plans to increase its community development pledge by $2 billion, to a total of $32 billion, as the Cincinnati company looks to expand in Chicago.

The expansion marks the second time in two years that Fifth Third has upped its pledge to invest in underserved neighborhoods. In partnership with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Fifth Third in February 2016 committed $27.5 billion over five yearsto provide loans and other financial services in low-income areas across the Midwest and Southeast.

Under the program announced Monday, Fifth Third plans to invest roughly $200 million to expand access to mortgages, through a mix of down-payment assistance and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

Fifth Third also plans to provide loans to nonprofit and government entities, and will evaluate potential investments related to the Opportunity Zone tax incentives, according to the release.

John Taylor, president and founder of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said his organization is “eager” to continue its collaboration with the $142 billion-asset Fifth Third.

“The NCRC and its member organizations were pleased to be included in the development and expansion of Fifth Third’s community commitment and its specific plans for the Chicago market,” Taylor said in the release.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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