The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and First Citizens Bank today announced an amendment to their previous community benefits agreement, extending the bank’s longstanding community support to Northern California and Massachusetts following its March acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
The additional commitment, which recognizes pre-existing Silicon Valley Bank relationships, establishes a new $6.5 billion community financial target with the following components:
- $2.25 billion in small business lending.
- $3.6 billion in Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) development lending and investing.
- $650 million in residential mortgages to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and in selected LMI census tracts.
- $35 million in CRA grants or contributions, $10 million of which is dedicated to an affordable home mortgage subsidy program.
The new commitment comes in addition to $3.1 billion that SVB had spent in furtherance of its Community Benefits Plan prior to First Citizens’ acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of SVB from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in March.
“This agreement is a huge relief for the communities that stood to lose out on new investments and programming when Silicon Valley Bank went into receivership – and a testament to First Citizens’ depth of commitment to the values we share,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “First Citizens is honoring SVB’s obligations where others might not have. Their eagerness to listen to and learn from our members, backed with this expansion of our previous community benefits agreement in 2021, should be an example to the industry. This is how you show you’re serious about uplifting the most neglected communities in your service area.”
This new First Citizens commitment also comes in addition to the $16 billion Community Benefits Plan that First Citizens announced in February 2021. That plan remains on track to meet its own financial targets.
Since 2016, NCRC has facilitated 28 community benefits agreements with bank groups that committed more than $600 billion for mortgage, small business and community development lending, investments and philanthropy in LMI and under-resourced communities.
Although First Citizens was under no obligation to assume responsibility for SVB’s prior Community Benefits Plan, it agreed to this addendum in furtherance of the bank’s ongoing commitment to serve the communities where it does business. Some other banks recently acquired through FDIC receivership did not continue any of their Community Benefits Plan targets.
In formulating the addendum, First Citizens, NCRC, California-based Rise Economy and Massachusetts non-profit and community groups worked together to identify the initiatives of greatest impact to low-income and minority communities.
“For its entire 125-year history, First Citizens Bank has taken great pride in our continuing efforts to support clients, customers and associates, as well as the communities in which we live and work,” said Frank B. Holding, Jr., chairman and CEO of First Citizens. “This addendum is a testament to that ongoing commitment as we extend our legacy of giving back to the cities and towns we serve, while also helping grow vibrant and diverse communities and businesses.”
NCRC member organizations that participated in the talks that produced this new agreement praised First Citizens for its dedication to fulfilling the obligations all financial institutions have to their communities.
“Silicon Valley Bank was an important component of the California economy and is now continuing to support the economy as a division of First Citizens Bank. We at Rise Economy are pleased to have played a significant role in ensuring that the bank’s community investments, grants and other forms of support will continue as well,” said Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, Chief Executive Officer of Rise Economy.
“We thank First Citizens Bank for this commitment to continue Silicon Valley Bank’s investments in LMI communities and households in greater Boston and providing new resources to assist first-time homebuyers, small businesses, and nonprofits,” said Symone Crawford, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. “If we are to narrow the racial homeownership gap, we need financial institutions to do more in programs like ONE Mortgage and ONE+Boston. FCB’s commitment is doing just that.”
“In the wake of its acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank, First Citizens Bank has a critical responsibility to maintain SVB’s commitments to equitably serve communities–particularly communities of color that have historically been excluded from financial services,” said Debra Gore-Mann, President and CEO of The Greenlining Institute. “The Greenlining Institute is encouraged by the progress this agreement makes toward that goal: investments in affordable and rental housing alternatives, technical assistance for small businesses, a people-based special purpose credit program, and grants for BIPOC-led organizations are essential to quality of life in communities of color. Now it’s about implementation – and we look forward to working with First Citizens to ensure these investments reach communities of color.”
“We look forward to working with First Citizens Bank as they continue the commitments made by Silicon Valley Bank to support community development in the Commonwealth,” said Emily Haber, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. “We are pleased that the bank recognizes the role that small businesses play in the health and vitality of our Massachusetts communities and the critical need to support development of affordable housing and access to homeownership for Low and Moderate-Income residents.”
After a competitive bidding process, First Citizens Bank announced in March 2023 that it had agreed to purchase out of FDIC receivership substantially all loans and certain other assets, and assume all customer deposits and certain other liabilities, of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, N.A. This represented only a portion of SVB as it existed prior to receivership.
Now operating as a division of First Citizens Bank, Silicon Valley Bank has resumed serving some of the world’s most innovative companies and investors. SVB provides commercial and private banking to individuals and companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity, venture capital and premium wine industries. SVB operates in centers of innovation throughout the United States, serving the unique needs of its dynamic clients with deep sector expertise, insights and connections.