Washington, DC – August 27, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition reacted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issuing a conditional approval of a merger between the holding companies for Renasant Bank and M&F Bank. As a condition of the merger, the newly merged Renasant Bank must conduct additional marketing to small businesses and qualified home loan borrowers, partner with community organizations to advertise its products in underserved communities, expand its team of mortgage lenders, and set a goal of meeting the lending levels of its peers in home lending and small business lending. This rare conditional approval comes as a result of the efforts of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and seventeen member organizations and partners in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
“This is a victory for underserved communities. In our comments to the regulator, NCRC and its members voiced significant concerns about this merger, and stressed the need to weigh public benefit. In placing conditions upon the merger approval, the FDIC has sent a significant message that community needs must be addressed by the bank,” said John Taylor, President & CEO of NCRC. “We will closely monitor the bank’s compliance with the conditions put forth by the FDIC. We urge the FDIC to release the bank’s action plan for public review and comment prior to FDIC approval of plan.”
“The conditions placed upon the merger will help to make sure that small businesses in our communities receive access to capital and credit that is vitally needed for continued economic growth,” said Bob Dickerson, Executive Director of the Birmingham Business Resource Center, and Chair of NCRC’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to working with the bank to ensure that it is in adherence with these conditions and addressing our communities’ needs.”
“We are pleased the FDIC has placed these important conditions upon the merger approval,” said Charles Harris, Executive Director of Housing Education and Economic Development (HEED), and an NCRC board member. “Community organizations in Mississippi look forward to meeting with Renasant Bank to ensure that they meet the needs of families across the Mississippi.”
“AHAND is encouraged by the FDIC’s conditional approval of the Renasant and First M&F merger. We appreciate NCRC’s important leadership in our advocacy for meaningful regulatory action, and look forward to working with Renasant to broaden access to small business and home mortgage capital in Atlanta and greater Georgia’s low-income communities.” said Andy Schneggenburg, Executive Director of Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-based Developers (AHAND).
The FDIC order is excerpted below:
“1. The Bank will execute its plan to conduct an assessment of the small business and residential real estate credit needs of the post-merger assessment areas;
2. Based on the Bank’s assessment of small business and residential credit needs, the Bank will continue to conduct focused advertising to solicit qualified small business and residential real estate applicants. The Bank will budget marketing funds to specify the types of advertisements to be utilized and the expected audience based on the demographics for the area of circulation;
3. The Bank will establish annual outreach goals to elevate awareness of the Bank’s mortgage and small business products in each market or assessment area through the community based organizations it supports and other means deemed appropriate;
4. The Bank will monitor its level of home mortgage lending by market or assessment area taking into account borrower race, ethnicity, income and geographic location, with a goal of its levels being similar to peer lending or the demographic characteristics of each area within three years. The Bank will determine the peer group based upon factors such as market share, asset size, number and location of branches in the market, and volume of lending. The peer group must be approved by the Corporation;
5. The Bank will continue its efforts to expand its team of mortgage originators to solicit increased levels of qualified residential real estate borrowers consistent with its annual goals; and
6. The Bank will develop an Action Plan (“Plan”) that addresses the aforementioned provisions, and upon Board approval of such Plan, the Bank will provide a copy to the Corporation, and will also provide quarterly updates detailing its progress in meeting the goals listed in the Plan.”
About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.