Washington, DC – Today, in an agreement reached with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and its community-based members and allies across the Midwest, Huntington Bancshares Inc. announced a commitment of $16.1 billion for community development, including lending and investments, over a five-year period.
Huntington’s Community Development Plan, set to begin in 2017, includes mortgage and small business lending in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, community development lending and investments, a philanthropy program, and other services to increase access to financial services in LMI communities and communities of color, such as 10 new branch locations across its footprint.
“We commend Huntington for working with local community advocates to reach an agreement that will help many people in working class communities and communities of color build wealth,” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “This plan lays out activities that will produce the kind of significant public benefit that needs to be created when banking institutions merge. Commitments like this are only possible with strong leadership from the highest levels of institutions, and we applaud Huntington Chairman, President and CEO Stephen Steinour for his leadership in this process.”
“With the merger of FirstMerit into Huntington, we think it is important to share our intentions in continuing to provide exceptional support and service to the communities where we live and work,” said Stephen D. Steinour, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Huntington. “The strength and vitality of these communities and the people we serve are integral to our shared future. Huntington has a 150-year track record of investing in our communities and we will continue to do so as we expand.”
“I commend NCRC and all of its members in Ohio for successfully working on a plan to invest in our state’s cities and neighborhoods,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. “These community organizations are strong and effective advocates for the people and communities that they represent.”
The commitment covers locations in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia that will be part of Huntington’s extended footprint as part of its merger with FirstMerit Corporation, and was reached following meetings with NCRC and over 100 community-based organizations.
The Community Development Plan will:
- Fund $5.7 billion in single-family mortgage lending in low- to moderate-income areas.
- Fund $6.6 billion in small business lending including within low- to moderate-income areas.
- Fund $3.7 billion in community development lending and investment targeting affordable housing access and community-based loan funds.
- Fund $25 million of additional grants and philanthropy primarily targeting housing and small business credit service access.
- Create $30 million in further economic impact through support including new branch locations within low- to moderate-income areas and/or majority minority areas; the addition of dedicated community mortgage loan officers; and the formation of a dedicated mortgage processing team to handle unique underwriting opportunities.
“Huntington Bank’s commitment to Northeast Ohio is fortified with today’s announced agreement,” stated Lou Tisler, Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. “Huntington came to the table in good faith, with a focus on raising the bar of community responsibility and duty and succeeded.”
“We at Community Legal Aid are proud to have been part of this process and the progress it represents,” said Greg Sain, Staff Attorney/Litigation Coordinator at Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. “We look forward to the lending, investment, and banking services opportunities that this agreement with Huntington Bank represents for low- and moderate-income neighborhoods historically underserved in Akron and other affected communities in our service area.”
“PCRG commends Chairman, President and CEO Steven Steinour’s leadership for committing to a historic agreement that will bring enhanced benefits to Pittsburgh and other regions, and we look to this being standard protocol for other bank mergers to come,” said Ernie Hogan, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).
“The Huntington Bank community benefits agreement is a recognition of the importance of reinvesting in low-income communities,” said Nate Coffman, Executive Director of Ohio CDC Association. “Their commitment is a strong step forward to address the challenges in underserved neighborhoods. Huntington’s comprehensive approach that ranges from increasing capital and mortgages in low-income communities, to support for housing counseling, to bolstering partnerships with CDCs and community groups is a blueprint to comprehensive investment.”
“The Human Relations Council is glad to be included in the process of advocating for additional resources for low- to moderate-income communities in Dayton, Ohio,” said Catherine Crosby, Executive Director of the City of Dayton Human Relations Council. “The resources provided through public benefit agreements increases access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses, leading to job creation and retention, non-profit social service support, affordable housing and many other opportunities to ensure community assets exist to stabilize vulnerable communities.”
“Banks are stabilizing neighborhood institutions and when our neighbors see institutions like Huntington say ‘yes’ to investing in their community it empowers them,” said Amelia Gibbon, Executive Director of the Friendly Center. “When individuals are looking for a home and they see institutions like Huntington they feel like it’s the right place to grow their family.”
“Far too often mergers and acquisitions result in less community investment and philanthropy in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods,” said Calvin L. Holmes, President of Chicago Community Loan Fund. “With this merger, Chicago residents will see an increase in investments and grants above what the two institutions were providing. This is a big win for Chicago and a clear demonstration of Huntington’s commitment to LMI neighborhoods.”
“Low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color in Michigan will benefit from Huntington’s commitment,” said Maryellen Lewis, Treasurer of the Financial Justice Coalition of Southeast Michigan. “Community organizations are looking forward to working with the bank to meet these goals. We are glad that Huntington used this plan to build on previous philanthropic commitments to the state.”
“This merger contributes to the continuing revitalization of Detroit through enhanced investment and by providing greater access to financial products and opportunities for residents and small businesses customized to their needs,” said Hector Hernandez, executive director of Southwest Economic Solutions. “I was impressed by the inclusive and transparent nature of the merger discussions and the receptiveness to ideas that Southwest Solutions and other organizations proposed based on our firsthand knowledge of the economic needs in our community.”
“The Huntington Bank agreement is going to help to rebuild Cincinnati’s minority neighborhoods which have been devastated by foreclosures and by lack of capital investment in these neighborhoods and small businesses,” said Barbara Busch, Executive Director of Working In Neighborhoods. “Through this agreement Huntington Bank has committed to provide Cincinnati with access to mortgage loans for minority borrowers. This can only be done through solid partnership with trusted nonprofits like NCRC and Working In Neighborhoods.”
NCRC members within Huntington’s existing and proposed expanded footprint that signed on to the five-year community development plan are:
Akron Fair Housing Center
Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.
Antioch Baptist Church
Catholic Commission of Summit County
Community Legal Aid Services, Inc.
L.I.N.K.S. Community and Family Services
Nazareth Housing Development Corporation
Chicago Community Loan Fund
Chicago Rehab Network
Community Service Council of Northern Will County
Northwest Side Housing Center
Oak Park Regional Housing Center
The Chicago Urban League
The Resurrection Project
Vision of Restoration
Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (inclusive of Greater Cincinnati Urban League and Miami Valley Urban League)
Working in Neighborhoods
Breaking Chains Inc.
Burton, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.
City of Cleveland
City of South Euclid
Cleveland Realtist Association
Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation
Home Repair Resource Center
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland
Ohio Fair Lending
Rebuilding Together Northeast Ohio
Slavic Village Development
Union Miles Development Corporation
Village Capital Corporation
Another Chance of Ohio
Franklinton Development Association
Greater Linden Development Corporation
Homes on the Hill, CDC
IMPACT Community Action
Ohio CDC Association
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality
City of Dayton Human Relations Council
Citywide Development Corporation
Miami Valley Fair Housing Center
The Omega Community Development Corporation
Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (inclusive of Miami Valley Urban League and Greater Cincinnati Urban League)
Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking
Detroit Fair Housing Center
Detroit Non Profit Housing Corporation
Detroit People’s Platform
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
Financial Justice Coalition of Southeast Michigan (Financial Justice Coalition SEM)
Neighborhood Service Organization
New Dawn Leadership
Southwest Economic Solutions
U-SNAP-BAC Non-Profit Housing Corporation
Metro Community Development, Inc.
Michigan Community Reinvestment Coalition
Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
One Voice for East Toledo
Salem United Methodist Church
Sylvania Avenue Neighbors
Toledoans United for Social Action
Toledo Fair Housing Center
United North Corporation
Summary of the Community Benefits Agreement between the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Huntington.
Under the Community Benefits Agreement, Huntington will lend or invest $16.1 billion to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and in LMI communities over a five-year period of time, beginning January 1, 2017. $16.1 billion is 17% of Huntington’s post-merger assets, or 22% of its deposits.
Mortgage Lending to Low- and Moderate-Income Communities
Community Benefits Commitment: $5.7 billion over 5 years
Huntington will adopt a single family lending goal for LMI borrowers and neighborhoods of $5.7 billion, which represents an 18% increase. Huntington also commits to a floor of achieving parity with peers in lending to LMI borrowers, LMI communities, people or communities of color and women in 75 percent of its markets by 2020.
Small Business Lending to Low- and Moderate-Income
Communities Community Benefits Commitment: $6.6 billion over 5 years
Huntington’s lending goal for small businesses and small businesses in LMI neighborhoods is $6.6 billion, representing an 18% increase. Huntington will accomplish this through partnering with and financially supporting community organizations focused on building small business capacity by providing products, technical support and financing to small businesses in LMI neighborhoods. Huntington will also support community based organizations that serve small businesses through counseling and technical assistance on capacity building, financing strategies and business operations.
Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI)
Community Benefits Commitment: $3.7 billion over 5 years
Huntington will devote $3.7 billion to community development investments and lending. One example of how Huntington will achieve this goal will be by expanding investments in local and regional Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs).
Community Benefits Commitment: $50 million over 5 years
Huntington and its affiliates will disseminate $50 million in grants over the next five years. Philanthropic giving will focus funding on economic development, community service, small businesses, education, affordable housing, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Huntington will open 10 new branches in LMI neighborhoods and/or neighborhoods of color. Specifically, Huntington will open three locations in each of the cities of Detroit and Cleveland, two locations in Chicago, one location in Toledo and one in a city to be determined. Huntington will also consider new branch locations serving LMI borrowers and neighborhoods where a Huntington or FirstMerit branch has closed. Huntington will also evaluate providing excess vacant space in existing facilities to non-profit partners.
Huntington will provide $30 million in support for economic impact initiatives including the hiring of 18 Community Mortgage Loan Officers who will be compensated based on unit production and community outreach, the opening of 10 new branches, expansion of bilingual and multilingual services, evaluation of safe and sound alternative underwriting and credit scoring approaches such as VantageScore, and exploring the development of a process to refer denied small business and consumer lending applicants to local community organizations for assistance.
Huntington will create a National Community Advisory Council to review the progress of the agreement, provide insight and counsel on current or future strategies, products, services, emerging issues, and other topics of mutual interest, as well as actively advocate and refer people and opportunities to Huntington in order to ensure the success of this agreement. Fifty percent of the Council will be members of NCRC. At least annually, Huntington will hold regional meetings which will include local organizations from cities such as Akron, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Flint, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Toledo and Dayton. The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss the progress of the agreement and gain insight on current or future strategies.