NCRC leaders testify on BB&T/SunTrust merger

Leaders from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) urged more lending and better service for low- and moderate-income communities (LMI) in remarks they made at two recent hearings on the proposed merger between BB&T Bank Corporation and SunTrust Banks, Inc.

They also advised federal regulators that NCRC has convened and facilitated a series of meetings in six cities with the banks and representatives of nearly 200 community-based organizations to create a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) that will spell out how the merged bank will expand its lending, philanthropy and investments to better serve LMI borrowers.

“We have discussed community needs, and ways in which the combined institution could better serve them,” Jesse Van Tol, NCRC’s CEO, said at an April 25 hearing conducted jointly by the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. “We expect to reach a Community Benefits Agreement with the bank in the near future, detailing lending, investments and services for low- and moderate-income people and communities of color.”

John Taylor, NCRC’s President and Founder, spoke at a May 3 hearing in Atlanta, Georgia.

“BB&T and SunTrust have offered what appears to be sincere commitments to community credit needs,” Taylor said. “But we will see what’s in writing at the end of the day.”

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