By Stephanie and Eric Stradford
AMWS, March 29, 2012, Virtual -- Did the name of your personal banker change? What about the name of your bank? Who are the people managing that .02% interest rate on your FDIC Insured bank account? What should a community of believers expect from their partners in the Community Reinvestment Act? How do you partner with your bank?
The federal investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin, U.S. Citizen, is rallying diverse communities to higher expectations for “One Nation Under God.” Demonstrated interest by the Florida Council of Churches is compounding daily by believers across the United States and around the world. U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for “soul searching” presents an opportunity for ensuring “that everybody pulls together -- federal, state and local…”
Pulling everybody together requires a plan, a process and some people who care enough to PAY ATTENTION! Youth Achievers USA Institute, co-sponsor of the ChurchUniversal.us, a collaboration of church and state, seeks to add value to American children, without discrimination.
The ChurchUniversal.us initiative examines a perceived value, assessed in a moment, by gunman George Zimmerman. Most Americans agree that a young African American life holds no less value than any other human. What about the American institutions? Is an African American mind still a terrible thing to waste? Are federal investments in the economic security of historically disadvantaged Americans actually reaching the people in need?
Federal investigators will need to look beyond Justice at the state-of-the-art Sanford Police Station on 13th Street, and into the adjacent historically underserved business zone (HUBZONE) for an historic perspective on “exactly how this tragedy happened.” Everybody pulling together means taking a closer look at causes, effects, and some unlikely threats to economic security.
Partners in ChurchUniversal.us are being asked to call on their bank, asking on behalf of America’s future to, “Show me the money.” Some banks are being asked directly based on federal funding they received on behalf of disadvantaged Americans.
Fifth Third Bank received a U.S. Treasury award of $6,000 for its support of Louisville Community Development Bank. Fifth Third Bank is a state-chartered bank with $53 billion in assets.
Fifth Third New Markets Development Company LLC (“5/3 New Markets”) promised to use a $100 million U.S. Treasury allocation to “invest in housing projects, educational facilities, health care facilities, senior care facilities, and business financing for economic growth and job creation (e.g., grocery stores, hardware stores, department/clothing stores).” With its U.S. Treasury allocation, 5/3 New Markets promised to provide a number of flexible and concessionary financial products, including debt with interest rates between 350 and 45 basis points below market. 5/3 New Markets will also dedicate a significant portion of its NMTC investment profits to finance grants to non-profits, businesses and developers in low-income communities.
SunTrust Community Development Enterprises, LLC (Enterprises) promised to use a $45 million U.S. Treasury allocation to make loans and equity investments to for-profit businesses, community-based organizations, non-profits, CDFIs and real estate projects including retail, industrial, office space, historic renovation, mixed-use, for-sale housing and community facilities. These transactions will be structured with non-traditional rates, terms and conditions, providing funds to businesses that primarily serve low-income communities and may not have access to traditional sources of capital. These products were not offered by the controlling entity prior to the Treasury allocation. The entirety of Enterprises’ allocation award was promised to be deployed into areas of higher distress.
PNC promised (twice) to use $70 million of a U.S. Treasury allocation to “advance its strategic approach to community development, providing innovatively-structured loans and equity investments to finance real estate projects, operating businesses, social service agencies, charter schools, early childcare centers, community facilities, and other CDEs with similar missions resulting in catalytic and sustainable impacts in Low Income Communities (LICs).” PNC’s QLICI’s will be the critical piece of financing necessary to complete a financing package, with flexibility to allow each transaction to be tailored to meet the unique community and economic development challenges facing our LICs (Low Income Communities).
Regions Bank was selected to receive from the U.S. Treasury, a Bank Enterprise Award of $22,459 for providing affordable housing development loans and project investments in distressed communities in Louisiana and Alabama. Regions Bank is a state chartered bank with $1.28 billion in assets.
First Fidelity Bank, N.A. was selected to receive, from the U.S. Treasury, Bank Enterprise Award of $112,500 for its support of MetaFund Corporation. First Fidelity Bank , N.A. is a federally chartered bank with $1.13 billion in assets.