A $60B Bank based community benefit agreement

The African Diaspora Directorate and its Co-Founder plans to take advantage for itself and members of a three-year, $60 billion community benefits plan for the region served by Truist Financial Corporation

The three-year, $60 billion plan, based upon discussions between the banks that formed Truist (BB&T Corporation and SunTrust Banks, Inc.), the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)  and its community-based members, like t he African Diaspora Directorate, will increase financial resources for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities across the eastern United States.

The plan’s specific goals include:

  • $31 billion for home purchase mortgage loans to LMI borrowers, LMI geographies, minority borrowers and/or majority-minority geographies
  • $7.8 billion for lending to small businesses, to support the growth of businesses with revenues less than $1 million.
  • $17.2 billion in Community Development Lending (CDL) supporting affordable housing development, small business growth and lending to nonprofits that support the LMI community
  • $3.6 billion in Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Qualified Investments and Philanthropy, of which $120 million will be designated for CRA-qualified philanthropic giving

The plan was developed through direct participation in six input and listening sessions held in urban and rural communities throughout the bank service areas, as well as input from participants in the regulator-hosted public meetings. It focuses on affordable housing and small business development, economic stability and mobility, workforce development and public safety.

Participants of the Community Benefits Plan announcement. Leaders from NCRC, BB&T, SunTrust and community organizations attended the $60 billion community benefits plan announced July 16, 2019, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Many bank mergers proceed without any detail on how communities will benefit from the combination,” said NCRC CEO Jesse Van Tol. “However, BB&T and SunTrust showed tremendous leadership by participating in a collaborative process with NCRC and our community-based member organizations to establish the largest-to-date community benefits plan. This plan spells out a substantive and detailed commitment of loans, investments and services to LMI people and neighborhoods across 17 states and the District of Columbia.”

Under the plan, the banks also committed to opening at least 15 new branches in LMI and/or minority communities and to work with a community advisory board made up of representatives from community organizations that work within LMI neighborhoods, to provide updates on the progress of the plan. Truist will work with NCRC to mutually identify proposed members of the Community Advisory Board.

“This plan will provide a much-needed influx of investment into critical programs that improve affordable housing, mortgage lending, small business development and economic development projects to LMI people and communities across most of the eastern half of the country,” said NCRC President and Founder John Taylor. “We very much appreciate the strong collaboration demonstrated by the executive leadership of BB&T and SunTrust banks, as well as the critical role our members played in our discussions with the banks.”

In February 2019, BB&T and SunTrust announced a proposed merger that would result in the sixth-largest U.S. commercial bank based on assets and deposits. The merger is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval of both companies’ shareholders.

Since 2016, NCRC has negotiated community benefits plans with seven banking groups for lending, investments and philanthropy worth a combined $150 billion in the communities served by the banks.

“The Community Benefits Plan exemplifies what Truist will stand for and how it will support local communities in the years to come,” said BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King (Current Chairman and CEO of Truist Financial), . “Both BB&T and SunTrust have a long legacy of serving the community, but together as Truist we will be uniquely positioned to invest in ways we never could on our own. We are committed to building growing, diverse and vibrant neighborhoods in the regions where we work and live.”

“Truist is creating the premier financial institution to serve the diverse needs of our clients and communities, and this plan is an initial stake in the ground as to our values and commitments. Our legacy companies share a strong history of being more than members of the communities we serve, but also partners in developing affordable housing, promoting financial literacy, and promoting access to critical programs and services. Today’s announcement is a reflection of that history and a look ahead at what we can collectively achieve as one combined institution,” said SunTrust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William H. Rogers, Jr. (Current president and chief operating officer of Truist Financial Corporation)

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