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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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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