Bank branches matter. Countering the overwhelming messaging from many banks and even some regulators, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has published several reports over the years that detail how much branches still matter for consumers and communities, even in 2019. Just look at the number of branches that banks opened in the last year, and it is clear that they also know the value of a physical outpost in the community they want to serve.
In 2019, the total student loan debt in America is about $1.5 trillion. According to the New York Consumer Credit Panel, adults under 40 hold 65% of the total student loan debt. Although there has been much said about this figure, the income enhancement offered by a college degree still far outweighs the cost of the debt.
In September 2018, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released the results of a survey of 1,200 banks on small business lending in America. It found that small business lending is threatened by the decline of smaller banks and the reduction of bank branches in many communities. But just as revealing was what the survey didn’t find. More information that would be essential for policy and regulatory decisions remains concealed, invisible to the public.
Data is the sunlight that makes possible the fight against discrimination. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), however, is considering changing its method of disseminating loan data that would make it less readily available to the public and significantly hamper our collective ability to root out unfair and discriminatory practices.
By 2021, the most popular and widely-used interest-rate benchmark, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), will no longer exist as a benchmark for the $2 trillion in outstanding loans in the United States. In its place will most likely be the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), which is broadly considered to be more robust and realistic than LIBOR. Nearly every borrower in the country that is paying off debt that is set based on the LIBOR will be affected by this change.
Data on community development lending and investing is lacking on a census tract level, making the information incomplete and difficult to assess. However, this is not the case for home mortgage lending data and small business loan data. If the federal regulatory agencies truly want to reform CRA, the first place to start is with better data. It would be a win-win for both banks and community organizations by facilitating identification of underserved areas. It would also further CRA’s objectives of directing access to credit and capital where it is needed most.
As explanations of the racial wealth gap and the persisting structural inequality of the U.S. economy, Dr. Mehrsa Baradaran’s 2017 book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, is the ideal shelf-mate to Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, published the same […]
In order for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to protect millions of consumers from unsound lending, the agency must implement the public disclosure of the enhanced Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data in a rigorous manner that provides comprehensive and public information about loan terms and conditions. NCRC has a mantra about the importance […]
Banks want more certainty and easier exams, but points of consensus emerge.
Listen to this discussion hosted by NCRC’s Senior Civil Rights Investigator Rose Ramirez, featuring Community Reinvestment Act Manager Kevin Hill and Senior Community Reinvestment Act Advisor Josh Silver on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding CRA and what it means to communities throughout the country.
Like most beneficiaries of the Community Reinvestment Act, I was completely oblivious to this invisible law. Now I am grateful every day, seeing how clearly my parents’ homeownership transformed my life.
Today marks the 41st anniversary of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law that was supposed to end discrimination that was once common in America’s housing and banking markets. Although not as widely known as other iconic releases of 1977 including the very first Star Wars movie, Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours, or the Apple II […]
As concerned citizens and practitioners in the affordable housing and community development fields, we now have a clear choice regarding the direction of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (under the leadership of Comptroller Joseph Otting) have each offered contrasting visions for the […]
Living Longer: We Need Age-Friendly Banking Like most institutions, the American banking system must evolve to meet current needs. Although we all age, and although people on average are living longer and healthier lives, our society has yet to adjust for this substantial demographic shift. Age-Friendly Banking is a set of recommendations that NCRC has […]
While the wheels of government slowed down for summer vacations, NCRC was busy organizing for what we anticipate will be a major battle over the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The 1977 law requires banks meet the credit needs of low- and moderate-income communities. This summer, NCRC and our members met with the leaders of all […]
My daughter will be attending college near Charlotte, North Carolina, in the fall. As part of her orientation, the college asks all incoming freshmen to read a common book. This year, the book was Color and Character by North Carolina historian Pamela Grundy, a story about the struggle for integration and educational equity in Charlotte, North […]
Herbert J. Rubin’s new book, Advocacy for Social Change, is an important primer for those who seek to promote social change through national organizations. Many books discuss the corrosive effect of money in politics and lobbying organizations, but few are devoted to how those representing the have-nots organize on a national level to fight for laws […]
Quicken Loans overtakes Wells Fargo as the largest loan originator.