NCRC and M&T Bank Announce $43 Billion Community Growth Plan To Support Underserved and Communities of Color, Small Businesses

Bank will work with local organizations to make impactful investments in low- and moderate-income families and communities of color throughout its footprint

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB) (“M&T”) and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) announced today the bank’s plan to contribute $43 billion in loans, investments and other financial support to provide greater economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income (LMI) families and communities and people and communities of color. The bank’s five-year Community Growth Plan was developed in collaboration with NCRC in conjunction with M&T’s proposed acquisition of People’s United Financial Inc. (People’s United Bank) and will become operational shortly after closing of the transaction.

The plan includes $22.9 billion in loans for home purchases, home equity and small businesses and another $20 billion for community development initiatives and affordable housing. These significant investments will cover communities the bank currently serves as well as those it would expand into through M&T’s proposed acquisition of People’s United Bank. 

“At its core, M&T is a bank with a deep commitment to serve our communities and make a difference in people’s lives,” said René Jones, M&T Bank Chairman and CEO. “We are also committed to taking action to help address inequities that have existed for years. This plan is another step in our journey to orient ourselves around what our communities need most.”

Since March, members of M&T’s leadership team have met with NCRC and its member organizations in the bank’s current and growth markets to identify pressing needs and consider how M&T can help increase the flow of capital to historically underserved communities. M&T will continue to work with NCRC and its members, other community groups and public officials to address these existing and emerging needs in the future. 

“We appreciate M&T Bank’s leadership — and that of René Jones in particular — and dialogue with NCRC members to develop a community growth plan that makes significant contributions to increased investments, lending and access to affordable homes in low- and moderate-income and communities of color in its existing footprint and anticipated new markets,” said NCRC CEO Jesse Van Tol. “M&T’s plan provides a unique opportunity to help improve the lives of people living and working in historically disadvantaged communities.”

The plan was based on discussions with NCRC members across Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington DC.

Since 2016, NCRC has facilitated similar community benefits agreements with 16 bank groups worth a combined $384 billion for mortgage, small business and community development lending, investments and philanthropy in LMI and under-resourced communities. 

Community benefits agreements are a cornerstone of NCRC’s work to increase the flow of private capital into underserved and under-resourced communities and communities of color, and to end the racial wealth divide. The agreements depend on dialogue between banks, community organizations and local reinvestment coalitions to identify local priorities and strategies to address them, which continues after an agreement is established through community councils set up to advise on implementation and to monitor bank performance.

M&T’s plan addresses key areas of need identified during its meetings with community leaders, including:

  • Community development lending and investing: Building on its leadership in community-focused lending and investing, M&T intends to invest $11.95 billion in community development activities, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, New Market Tax Credit and Small Business Investment Company programs as well as provide greater access to capital for underserved communities through impact equity investments. 
  • Homeownership and affordable housing: Recognizing the importance of home ownership to individuals and communities, M&T plans to provide $8.8 billion in home purchase lending for LMI households and communities, minority households and majority-minority communities and will expand its mortgage product offerings. M&T also plans to invest $7 billion in the development of multi-family, affordable and workforce housing across its expanded footprint.
  • Small-business lending and counseling: M&T will increase lending to small businesses by $10.5 billion, targeting programs and products that benefit businesses in LMI and minority communities. M&T will also develop and implement programs that increase access to education, resources and capital for minority- and women-owned small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs.
  • Financial support and services: To help ensure all customers and communities have access to the financial support and services they need, M&T has launched a new financial education initiative, will expand the availability of both its Bank On certified checking account and secured credit card and will invest in its growing multicultural banking program to develop products and services accessible to underserved individuals and those with limited English proficiency.
  • Multicultural banking: M&T anticipates designating as many as 115 branches throughout its expanded footprint as multicultural banking centers, in which bilingual branch staff can support the banking needs of the bank’s non-English-speaking customers and offer guidance in their preferred language. The bank recently launched a Spanish-language version of its website, added Chinese and Korean to the languages available on its ATMs, developed financial education materials in Spanish and plans to offer customers the ability to schedule online appointments in six different languages.
  • Access to services: The bank will also identify ways to enhance customers’ access to its services in rural and urban areas where there is a limited presence of financial institutions. Approaches may vary by community, but could include mobile distribution, financial education seminars, partnerships with local community organizations or placing ATMs in those communities.

The plan also provides a framework for increasing business opportunities for diverse suppliers, community development focused philanthropy and investments supporting renewable energy. 

Said M&T’s Jones: “Development of our community growth plan has benefited from our collaboration with Jesse and his team at NCRC. Jesse’s leadership has helped to galvanize a plan that we believe will benefit communities we serve throughout our footprint as well as in communities we hope to serve.”

NCRC Member Quotes

“We look forward to working with M&T bank to serve the growing Latino community in Pennsylvania. This plan highlights a working relationship between communities and an important financial institution for the benefit of both. A win-win for economic development in the region.” Will Gonzalez, Executive Director, Ceiba, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“As a minority-led, non profit community development corporation, we are pleased to support this comprehensive plan between M&T Bank and the NCRC. It sets out both the broad policies and specific objectives that will benefit our diverse communities across the North Eastern states with the objective of improving the quality of life for residents and performance of our businesses while expanding its investment footprint in economically challenged neighborhoods.  We especially appreciate its goal to establish Bridgeport CT as its regional headquarters, better insuring the continuity and improvement of the city and region by applying its considerable resources here.” Adrienne Houel, President and CEO, Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc., Bridgeport, Connecticut

“Organizations led by people of color receive little philanthropic support overall –Less than 5% of philanthropy goes to organizations led by People of Color! We are excited to see M&T Bank’s commitment to supporting an increased number of nonprofit organizations led by People of Color that they have not previously supported. These investment will help build the capacity of these organizations and ultimately support communities of color. Sociedad Latina is proud to have been part of these important conversations with NCRC and others.” Alexandra Oliver-Davila, Executive Director, Sociedad Latina, Roxbury, Massachusetts

“A plan that increases mortgage lending is crucial as the current Black homeownership rate is as low as it was in 1890. Therefore, we welcome an opportunity to work with M&T to change the trajectory of homeownership rates so that the racial wealth gap decreases.” Angela McIver, CEO, Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“ANHD and our Equitable Reinvestment Coalition applaud M&T for this strong commitment to low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color. In the wake of health, economic and social crises we need to expand access to financial services, opportunities for wealth-building, and safe, stable, affordable housing for our marginalized communities. M&T’s commitment takes concrete steps towards meeting those needs here in New York City including committing to ANHD’s multifamily lending best practices to prevent harassment and displacement. We look forward to working with the bank to implement the plan in a meaningful way.” Barika Williams, Executive Director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), New York, New York

“The Connecticut Fair Housing Center supports M&T Bank’s National Community Growth Plan. A physical presence in diverse communities and a commitment to special credit programs is essential to ensuring fair and equitable access to financial products in communities that have historically been redlined and subject to predatory credit. We look forward to partnering with M&T Bank as they implement the plan.” David Lavery, Staff Attorney, Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Hartford, Connecticut

“Long Island Housing Services is grateful to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition for providing a platform to work with M&T Bank to create a plan to serve our communities fully with an emphasis on servicing our neighbors who have been historically overlooked.” Ian Wilder, Executive Director, Long Island Housing Services, Inc., Bohemia, New York

“Ariva, Inc, appreciates M&T’s expanded commitment to our home borough of the Bronx, NY.   Ariva exists to create economic justice, financial inclusion, and the opportunity for all residents of New York City to build financially-empowered and prosperous lives.  M&T’s commitment to open a second Bronx branch will expand access and improve the financial well-being of our community residents and will bring a critical financial resource to our underserved community.” Irene Baldwin, Executive Director, Ariva, Inc., Bronx, New York

“Our team at CommonWealth Kitchen applauds the M&T leadership for turning intention into action and demonstrating a clear commitment to invest in their values of equity, opportunity and inclusion. We look forward to seeing these commitments in action!” Jen Faigel, Executive Director, CommonWealth Kitchen, Boston, Massachusetts

“The financial banking system is integral to many aspects of our lives. Financial institutions have an essential role to play and a duty to ensure that all communities not only have access to our financial system but also benefit from it. We appreciate M&T Bank’s commitment to their duty and responsibility to the new communities they will serve as a new anchor institution. We look forward to collaborating with M&T Bank as we strive to strengthen underserved communities.” Juan Bonilla, COO, Lawrence CommunityWorks, Inc., Lawrence, Massachusetts

“Coastal Enterprises, Inc. applauds M&T Bank for engaging with NCRC and its members to develop this ambitious community benefits plan. We look forward to working with M&T and engaging in the process over the coming years. We are especially excited to see how this plan will play out in Maine and other rural regions, and hope to provide input going forward.” Laura Buxbaum, SVP, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., Brunswick, Maine

“We are happy to see M&T make a strong commitment to investing in renewable energy and resilience projects, as well as to broadening its outreach to potential community partners.” Lydia Lowe, Executive Director, Chinatown Community Land Trust, Boston, Massachusetts

“We recognize the vital role that banks play in communities in the work BOC does with small businesses and the importance of community engagement and partnership with M&T Bank. We look forward to M&T’s commitment to shared goals that ensure the economic health of local communities.”  Nancy Carin, Executive Director, BOC Capital Corp. CDFI, Brooklyn, New York

“Building Neighborhoods Together (BNT), a Bridgeport-based Community Housing Development Organization, is thrilled that M&T Bank, already a key player in the Community Development area, is committing to an even more robust plan going forward.” Noah Gotbaum, CEO, Building Neighborhoods Together, Bridgeport, Connecticut

“We all must address income and wealth inequality and dismantle structural racism, including our financial institutions.  We need to see whether institutions are doing the work, and making progress. So, banks need to track and make publicly available measurable outcomes in their community development lending and grants, with breakouts for Black, Latinx and Asian borrowers.  I am happy to see that the M&T Plan includes reporting by race and ethnicity. We look forward to working with M&T to make racial and economic justice a reality for the residents of Rochester NY.” Ruhi Maker, Senior Staff Attorney, Empire Justice Center, Rochester, New York

“Citizen Action has had an excellent working relationship with M&T Bank for many years and we see this Community Growth Plan as a comprehensive plan for the bank’s future lending, investment, banking accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion practices in New Jersey and elsewhere. We are committed to rolling up our sleeves and working with our CRA partners on the ground in New Jersey to ensure that the plan is implemented in a way that meets, and we hope exceeds its goals,  and ensures that M&T fulfills its obligations to the community, to its customers and to its employees.” Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director, New Jersey Citizen Action, Newark, New Jersey

“Community Resources for Justice is grateful to M&T Bank and its M&T Charitable Foundation for their support of our mission. At Community Resources for Justice, our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities by advancing policy and delivering individualized services that promote safety, justice, and inclusion. We empower individuals to overcome social, legal, and policy barriers that limit their opportunities to thrive. We look forward to M&T Bank’s consistent endorsement which bolster’s CRJ’s provisions to community safety, reentry after incarceration, individual transitions, strengthening of families, promoting of justice, and the removal of barriers to education and employment.” Sarah Carney, CEO, Community Resources for Justice, Hamlet of Snyder, New York

Organizations Supporting the National Community Growth Plan

Ariva, Inc
Asian Americans For Equality
Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD)
BOC Capital Corp.
Bridgeport Generation Now
Building Neighborhoods Together
Ceiba
Center for NYC Neighborhoods, Inc.
Central Baptist Community Development Corporation
Chinatown Community Land Trust
Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region
Coalition for Non Profit Housing and Economic Development
Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
CommonWealth Kitchen
Community Development Alliance of the Capital District
Community First Fund
Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, Inc.
Community Resources for Justice
Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester
Cornerstone West CDC
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc.
Devotion USA
Empire Justice Center
Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania
Fenway Community Development Corporation
Genesee Co-op FCU
Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc.
Greater Bridgeport NAACP
Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
GRHP (Greater Rochester Housing Partnership)
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County
Habitat for Humanity of North Central Connecticut
Hartford Community Loan Fund
Housing Assistance Council
Housing Help Inc.
Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc.
IMPACCT Brooklyn
La Fuerza Unida, Inc.
Latino Economic Development Center
Lawrence CommunityWorks, Inc.
LEAF (Local Enterprise Assistance Fund)
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc.
Long Hill Bible Church
Long Island Housing Services, Inc.
MACDC (Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations)
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance
Massachusetts Communities Action Network
Neighborhood House, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens CDC, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury, Inc.
NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire
New Jersey Citizen Action
New York City’s Equitable Reinvestment Coalition
PathStone Enterprise Center
People for Change Coalition
PFC Black Chamber Of Commerce
Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
PT Partners
Rebirth Inc
Revitalize Community Development Corporation
Sociedad Latina
Somerville Community Corporation
Southwest (Philadelphia) CDC
Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services
The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community
Tri-County Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC)
United Communities Southeast Philadelphia
United Way Coastal Fairfield County
Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)
Western New York Law Center/Buffalo Niagara Community Reinvestment Coalition

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About NCRC

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness in banking, housing and business. NCRC was formed in 1990 by national, regional and local organizations to increase the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. NCRC has grown into an association of more than 600 community-based organizations in 42 states that promote access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation and vibrant communities for America’s working families. More: www.ncrc.org

About M&T Bank

M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. 

Media Contacts: 

National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Alyssa Wiltse
(202) 393-8309
media@ncrc.org

M&T
National Media and Trade Publications:
Maya Dillon
(212) 415-0557
MDILLON@WilmingtonTrust.com

New Jersey, Connecticut and New York City:
David Samberg
(201) 368-4515
dsamberg@mtb.com

New York (excluding NYC):
Julia Berchou
(716) 842-5385
jberchou@mtb.com

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, DC:
Scott Graham 
(410) 244-4097
sgraham1@mtb.com

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Summary Of The National Community Growth Plan Between The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and M&T Bank 

M&T will lend or invest $43 billion to underserved borrowers and communities over a five-year period starting January 1, 2022.

Mortgage Lending to the Underserved

Commitment: $8.8 billion in home purchase lending, and $3.6 billion in home equity line of credit (HELOC) lending, over 5 years

M&T commits to $12.4 billion in loans to underserved borrowers and neighborhoods, with specific unit and dollar-based goals for Black borrowers, Latino borrowers, and Asian borrowers. To achieve this, M&T will offer a portfolio mortgage loan product throughout its footprint that uses non-traditional credit history including rental and utility payments. M&T will also develop a home improvement product with feedback from community partners, including organizations that serve people with disabilities. M&T also commits to working with community partners to provide educational materials on how HELOCs can be used to help homeowners with needed repairs and modifications.

Small Business Lending

Commitment: $10.5 billion over 5 years

$2.3 billion will be for loans to businesses located in neighborhoods that are majority people of color. M&T will implement this by offering lines of credit to businesses with streamlined application processes and through partnerships with mission-based lenders. Partnerships with mission-based lenders will include referrals, extensions of credit, or equity investments. M&T also commits to developing goals around lending to businesses owned by people of color once the data gathering and reporting process related to section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act is finalized.

Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI)

Commitment: $19.9 billion over 5 years

M&T will work with NCRC and its members, local coalitions, community members, and public officials to identify community development loan and investment opportunities with organizations led by people of color, with the goal of increasing the level of financial support flowing to these organizations. M&T will also work with CDFIs across M&T’s footprint to provide patient capital and will track this CDFI activity on a state-by-state basis. M&T also commits to reviewing its multi-family policies and procedures regularly to make certain tenants in M&T financed properties have livable, safe, and clean apartments and are free from harassment or coercion. M&T also commits to $1 billion in investments for renewable energy projects.

CRA Focused Philanthropy

Commitment: $75 million over 5 years

M&T will develop internal systems to track M&T’s charitable support for organizations led by people of color and impacting communities of color. M&T will support 50 new organizations that M&T has not supported in the last 3 years with sizable grants of $20,000 or more. M&T commits to expanding community organizing grants in New York City, and working with NCRC and other local partners to identify similar funding opportunities in Bridgeport, Buffalo, and Baltimore, as well as other markets across the footprint. M&T also commits to identifying and supporting community-based organizations focused on environmental resilience.

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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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