Five-year plan focuses on supporting equitable access to capital for low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color.
U.S. Bancorp today announced a more than $100 billion, five-year community benefits plan, developed in partnership with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), as part of the planned acquisition of MUFG Union Bank. The plan continues and expands the important work underway by both financial institutions to build and support equitable access to capital for the communities they serve.
The plan builds on U.S. Bank’s previously announced U.S. Bank Access Commitment efforts and integrates existing community impact efforts from MUFG Union Bank. A majority of the commitments, 60% of the total, will support efforts in California, the state most impacted by the acquisition.
“We appreciate the commitment from U.S. Bank and the personal leadership of Andy Cecere to collaborate with us, CRC and our members to develop the largest ever community benefits plan,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “This plan is a milestone not only because of its overall size but also because of the scale of increases committed for mortgage and small business lending, affordable housing, environmental and social impact lending, and for the plan’s clear focus on racial equity and access to credit directed specifically to communities of color.”
“Banks are the economic engines of our communities. As such, we can make meaningful and significant impacts in supporting the ability of low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and communities of color to access capital and build wealth,” said Andy Cecere, Chairman, President and CEO, of U.S. Bank. “Our CBP is outcome-focused and blends the best programs and thinking of U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank. We want our actions today to create a ripple effect that will life future generations.”
“We know that when we organize, we win. This agreement represents months of hard work, and is a win for LMI neighborhoods in California and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities,” said Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. “While there is still much work ahead, and a continued need to hold banks accountable, we celebrate these communities today as well as our members who were critical in discussions with the bank.”
The CBP was informed by multiple listening sessions with more than 200 community groups participating as well as a public hearing organized by regulators. Listening sessions were organized in partnership with the NCRC and CRC. The plan focuses on foundational components of community and economic development where the company can have the most impact:
- Access to Homeownership
- Small Business Access to Capital & Technical Assistance
- Community Development Lending & Investment
- Philanthropy & Community Service
- Branch Services in California
- Environmental Stewardship & Commitment
- Advancing a Diverse & Equitable Workforce
- Diverse Segment Outreach
- Supplier Diversity
- Plan Implementation & Accountability
“We are grateful for the time 208 organizations took to participate in the listening sessions. Their insights and perspective were critical to helping us understand where we can improve financial outcomes for underserved communities through our products, investments and service to the community,” said Cecere. “We look forward to working with community leaders to implement equitable and effective solutions for the communities that need it most.”
Since 2016, NCRC has facilitated similar community benefits agreements with 19 bank groups worth more than $541 billion for mortgage, small business and community development lending, investments and philanthropy in LMI and under-resourced communities. The agreement with U.S. Bank is the largest ever.
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.
The collective input from the community serves as the foundation for U.S. Bank’s community commitment, one of the most significant national and state commitments made by a bank in recent years. The public-facing community strategy includes commitments to:
- Providing at least a 20% increase in mortgage lending units nationally and a 30% increase in California to LMI borrowers, LMI communities and communities of color over five years.
- Increasing lending to small businesses and small farms by 15% nationally and 25% in California.
- Lending and investing increases of over 40% nationally and over 50% in California in community and economic development, affordable housing, environmental and social impact lending and investments during the five-year period with a focus on racial equity and access to credit for organizations and developers of color.
Additionally, U.S. Bank committed to developing three Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCP) with a substantial focus on California as follows:
- Small Business – Adopting, enhancing and expanding MUFG Union Bank’s SPCP, known as the Business Diversity Lending Program.
- Mortgage – Developing a mortgage SPCP in consultation with regulators and community groups, which will include down payment assistance for participating borrowers.
- Affordable Housing Development – Providing access to lending capital for minority-led/owned developers in support of affordable housing projects.
“Union Bank and U.S. Bank have been longstanding leaders in serving the community,” said Reba Dominski, Executive Vice President and Chief Social Responsibility Officer for U.S. Bank. “We look forward to engaging with the community as we continue this work to ensure the combined organization will have even greater social and environmental impact.”
Importantly, branches will continue to play an important role in U.S. Bank’s strategy and efforts to serve the community. The bank is taking a forward-looking approach to managing branches along with local community leaders to ensure the highest level of service is maintained. Additionally, the bank is committing to:
- Opening five new branches in LMI or middle-income Majority Minority (MMT) communities in California over five years.
- Opening or preserving five additional branches in LMI or MMT communities in California over five years decided with input from CRC.
- Upgrading functionality and accessibility of MUFG Union Bank and legacy U.S. Bank ATM’s that will also service MUFG Union customers.
- Partnering with California community groups to create five residencies located in nonprofits to provide access to a knowledgeable banker to help with small business lending and helping individuals improve their credit scores, savings and financial confidence.
- Adopting MUFG Union Bank’s high school and community college branch program and investing further to support financial education outreach.
Prior to reaching a decision on closing any branch in an LMI area, the bank will analyze the demographics of the neighborhood, consider community input and consider alternatives to closure as well as alternative delivery options to minimize the impact of the closure.
Following the close of the transaction, U.S. Bank is committed to retaining all MUFG Union Bank and U.S. Bank front-line branch employees in California, Washington and Oregon. These bankers are frequently the first people customers and prospective customers speak to. MUFG Union Bank employees have demonstrated a tremendous ability to serve their customers and U.S. Bank looks forward to having these branch employees join the combined bank’s team of talented West Coast employees.
NCRC Member Quotes
“There continues to be a need for intentional efforts to close the wealth gap that exists for BIPOC communities. This commitment is one step toward ensuring we have tools in place to support this effort. I look forward to continuing our work with U.S. Bank and our community partners to ensure economic equity.” Catherine Crosby, NCRC Board Chairperson and Town Manager, Town of Apex, Apex, North Carolina
“We look forward to working with U.S. Bank to ensure that communities of color have access to financing and resources. Oregon has a sordid past in serving communities of color and this community benefits agreement is a step in the right direction. We applaud U.S. Bank for their leadership and their commitment to be accountable to this plan. Addressing racial equity in who they serve, in their supply chains, in who they hire, and in their leadership sets the right example for all financial institutions.” Peter Hainley, NCRC Board Treasurer and Executive Director, CASA of Oregon, Sherwood, Oregon
“The Metro Milwaukee Fair Housing Council is excited that U.S. Bank’s commitment will leverage their merger to provide increased financial services to everyone within their footprint. We look forward to helping the bank connect with people of color who can access U.S. Bank’s new Special Purpose Credit Program, facilitating the homeownership dreams of those who had previously been shut out of the homeowner market.” Bethany Sanchez, NCRC Board Vice Chairperson and Senior Administrator, Fair Lending – Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
“U.S. Bank prides itself on doing the right thing. This is evinced by the months of earnest negotiations with NCRC that have culminated in this exceptionally comprehensive impact agreement. The scope and magnitude of the commitments made here will provide innovative and bold approaches to closing the racial and geographic wealth gaps in America, while, simultaneously, holding U.S. Bank to the rigorous standards of community accountability and engagement that are the backbone of thoughtful community development. Although no CBA is perfect, U.S. Bank is demonstrating its aspiration to be a leader on all ESG principals among US corporations.” Calvin Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund & Vice Chair of the African-American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, Chicago, IL
“Rural communities need active, engaged bank partners like U.S. Bank. We are hopeful this plan will lead to new levels of involvement in smaller, rural communities.” Marty Miller, Executive Director, Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing (ORFH), Yakima, Washington
“United South Broadway Corporation welcomes this agreement that will increase homeownership and capital investment in our state.” Diana Dorn-Jones, Executive Director, United South Broadway Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico
CRC Member Quotes
“By this CBA, U.S. Bank has confirmed their genuine interest in providing access to capital to underserved communities, such as rural areas and Native Americans living in rural communities.” David Mendoza, Project Director, Fresno Native American & Business Development Center, Fresno, California
“Our LMI community needs access to financial services and capital for homeownership. It is the key to economic growth.” Erika Torres, Executive Director, Haven Neighborhood Services, Los Angeles, CA
“This long, hard won, community benefits agreement out of the U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank merger is a win for the community that guarantees underserved communities will have the same resources to thrive.” Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment (formerly KCCD), Los Angeles, CA
“ASIAN, Inc., a current MUFG Union Bank customer, is proud of the California Reinvestment Coalition’s leadership on this Community Benefits Agreement. We look forward to an increased investment in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities by U.S. Bank, and we trust that U.S. Bank will continue cooperating with CRC as we hold them accountable to the CBA.” Lamar Heystek, President, ASIAN, Inc., San Francisco, CA
“The California Housing Partnership congratulates U.S. Bank and the California Reinvestment Coalition on reaching this important community benefits agreement that will significantly expand the resources available to produce and preserve affordable homes in our state at a time when these resources are needed more than ever before.” Matt Schwartz, President & CEO, California Housing Partnership, San Francisco, CA
“CCEDA congratulates US Bank, NCRC, and CRC for coming together and creating a Community Benefit Agreement that delivers the best results for our California communities.” Roberto Barragan, Executive Director, CCEDA, Los Angeles, CA
“I am pleased that the leadership of U.S. Bank has committed to making this unprecedented investment in California communities. I am certain that the talents and dedication of the combined, U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank Social Responsibility & CRA teams will have a significant impact on California’s small and diverse suppliers, nonprofits, and the thousands of underserved residents that are struggling to recover from one of the most economically devastating periods in our history.” Sharon Evans, CEO & Project Manager, Business Resource Group & Community Build, PM, Hawthorne, CA
Organizations Supporting the Community Benefits Plan
About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition
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 6oo 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 can be found at: www.ncrc.org.
About the California Reinvestment Coalition
The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) is the largest statewide community reinvestment coalition in the country, with over 300 member organizations across California that provide services to tens of thousands of Californians. CRC members include affordable housing developers, community development financial institutions, housing counseling agencies, small business technical assistance providers, legal services agencies, and community-based organizations. Learn more about CRC at: calreinvest.org.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, with approximately 70,000 employees and $587 billion in assets as of March 31, 2022, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association. The Minneapolis-based company serves millions of customers locally, nationally and globally through a diversified mix of businesses: Consumer and Business Banking; Payment Services; Corporate & Commercial Banking; and Wealth Management and Investment Services. The company has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, social responsibility, and customer service, including being named one of the 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies and Fortune’s most admired superregional bank. Learn more at usbank.com/about.
California Reinvestment Coalition
Summary Of The Community Benefits Plan Between The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank will lend, invest or donate more than $100 billion nationally, including an estimated $60 billion in California, focusing on borrowers with low-and-moderate incomes (LMI), LMI communities, and communities of color over a five-year period from 2023 through 2027. This represents at least a 20% increase nationally and at least a 30% increase in California over the combined baseline of U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank.
Mortgage Lending to the Underserved
Commitment: At least a 20% increase in mortgage loans nationally and a 30% increase in California to borrowers with LMI, LMI communities, people of color, and communities of color over five years.
If mortgage lending to a specific group (Black, Asian, Latinx, Native American, or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) does not have a commensurate increase after 2 years, U.S. Bank agrees to meet with community representatives to discuss ways to increase mortgage lending to the particular group. U.S. Bank will work with regulators, elected officials, appraisal organizations, and community organizations such as NCRC and CRC to identify and advance solutions that increase home loan access and homeownership to people of color and in communities of color. In addition, U.S. Bank will develop a mortgage Special Purpose Credit Program (SPCP) and make $100 million in mortgage loans and down payment assistance through the SPCP, with a substantial amount in California.
Small Business Lending
Commitment: At least $47 billion nationally over five years, including at least $15 billion in California, in lending to small businesses and small farms.
To achieve this, U.S. Bank will adopt and enhance MUFG Union Bank’s small business SPCP, known as the Business Diversity Lending Program, and expand it to be available in markets U.S. Bank serves across the country. U.S. Bank will engage in dialogue with NCRC and CRC members around potential program enhancements. U.S. Bank will also increase the availability of technical assistance for LMI, minority, and women-owned small businesses through grants, contributions and pro bono service, and increase financial support for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
Community Development Lending and Investment
Commitment: Lending and investing at least $31 billion nationally over five years, including at least $9.3 billion in California, in community and economic development, affordable housing, and environmental and social impact lending and investments, with a focus on racial equity and access to credit for organizations and developers of color.
This will include U.S. Bank launching a SPCP to provide accessible lending capital to minority-led/owned developers in support of affordable housing projects. The Impact Capital Program includes $125 million in debt and includes technical assistance support from the U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation. U.S. Bank will also offer environmental sustainability loans and investments that improve the health and wellness of LMI communities and communities of color.
Philanthropy & Community Service
Commitment: U.S. Bank will invest an additional $115 million into the U.S. Bank Foundation over five years for national programs focused on racial equity and access to capital.
The U.S. Bank Foundation will launch a new $75 million National Racial Equity Fund giving $15 million each year for five years. Included in this, U.S. Bank will support at least 10 organizations it has not supported in the past in each state where it currently has at least 95 branches1, with a total goal of supporting 100 additional organizations over the five years of the plan. New partnerships will be geared towards organizations led by people of color and women, including a focus on homeownership, housing development, fair housing, antibias and antiracism training, small business technical assistance and rural serving organizations. U.S. Bank will annually report on the race and gender of the leadership of these new partnerships, and how U.S. Banks new partnerships advance these identified philanthropic priorities. U.S. Bank will also provide a $10 million investment over five years, with $5 million set aside for California, and establish a Community Affairs Team focused on strategic outreach, investment, and support for rural and Native American communities with a substantial focus on California. U.S. Bank Foundation will also strive to increase the average size of U.S. Bank’s CRA-qualified grants from an average of $18,000, to an average of $30,000, by the end of the five-year term of the plan.
Staff & Supplier Diversity
U.S. Bank commits to ensuring 50% of U.S. Bank leadership is made up of underrepresented groups (specifically, people of color or women) in the next five years. U.S. Bank will also expand the Mortgage Loan Officer Development & Diverse Appraisal Apprentice Program. The program is designed to introduce mortgage and appraisal as viable career opportunities where BIPOC talent has been underrepresented for far too long. U.S Bank also commits to increase its total combined supplier diversity spend nationally by at least 10%, and in CA by 20%, over five years. The national supplier diversity spend is expected to be at least $690 million nationally, and with $76 million of that in California. U.S Bank will also increase paid media spend, and the number of strategic partnerships with, key minority-owned and minority-voiced media companies.
The intended outcome of this plan is to increase lending across the U.S. Bank footprint. Should a particular state not experience a comparable increase relative to the national increase, U.S. Bank will address opportunities with community leaders and develop a roadmap to increase lending and other activities in those states
Plan Implementation & Accountability
U.S. Bank’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will be instrumental in reviewing and assessing U.S. Bank’s progress towards the goals and objectives of this plan, as well as emerging areas of community need during the plan period. U.S. Bank will expand membership in the CAC to increase representation from California, Washington and Oregon, and work with NCRC and CRC to identify prospective members. U.S Bank will also meet annually with leaders from coalitions involved in the development of this CBP. The meetings will be attended by U.S. Bank’s CEO and senior leaders and designed to promote two-way dialogue with community leaders. U.S. Bank will also publicly share annual updates on the progress of this commitment in a format that is mutually agreed upon with NCRC. Finally, no later than four months after the U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank merger is finalized, U.S. Bank will send NCRC and CRC information on processes and contacts to support member participation in programs related to the plan.