Huntington Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: HBAN) and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today announced a new $40 billion community benefits plan that will focus on affordable housing, small business loans and increased capital to low- and moderate-income communities, communities of color and communities that have been historically disadvantaged.
The plan, based on discussions between the bank, NCRC and more than 120 community leaders and NCRC members in 20 cities across seven states, is the second such agreement between NCRC and Huntington Bank. In 2016, the bank committed to a $16.1 billion community benefits plan with NCRC, which was completed in 2020.
The new Huntington plan includes:
- $24 billion for affordable housing, $11 billion of which will go to communities of color and under-resourced populations.
- $10 billion for small business lending programs, with $2 billion going to minority-owned businesses or businesses operating in majority-minority communities.
- $6.7 billion in community development lending and investing to establish programs and services that offer equity in areas such as affordable housing, small business financing, and community services that provide food security, financial empowerment, and workforce development. Of the $6.7 billion, $2 billion will focus on minority initiatives in these areas.
The plan was based on discussions with more than 400 community leaders across Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Colorado.
Since 2016, NCRC has facilitated similar community benefits agreements with 15 bank groups worth a combined $338 billion for mortgage, small business and community development lending, investments and philanthropy in low- and moderate-income (LMI) and under-resourced communities.
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 dialog between banks and community organizations, which continues after an agreement is established through community councils set up to advise on implementation and to monitor bank performance.
“We appreciate the leadership and commitment of Huntington Bank to come back to the table with NCRC and our members to develop a new community benefits plan that makes specific and significant commitments to increase investments, lending and access to affordable homes in communities of color,” said NCRC CEO Jesse Van Tol. “Those kinds of investments are an important step to closing the nation’s racial wealth divide. The commitment to advance the bank’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives is also encouraging. The agreement is a strong example of the value of bringing community leaders together with lenders to create community benefits plans that reflect and invest in the needs of the communities. This effort, and the $40 billion commitment that it produced, makes me hopeful that we are making a lasting impact on lives, families and neighborhoods.”
The new plan came a week after Huntington’s merger with TCF Financial Corporation.
Under the plan, $16 billion of the $40 billion was committed for racial and social equity, placing special emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
“Banks are the stewards of a community’s wealth,” said NCRC President and Founder John Taylor. “It is their solemn obligation to treat such wealth with the utmost of diligence. In the forefront of that obligation is the bank’s commitment to reinvest in those communities to allow the citizens’ wealth to grow and expand via bank investments. Huntington’s $40 billion Community Benefits Agreement is a shining example of that commitment. We are deeply appreciative of the bank’s leadership, and in particular Steve Steinour, and the more than 100 community leaders that met with the bank to develop this agreement.”
“As a growing bank dedicated to supporting the people, businesses and communities throughout our expanded footprint, we recognize the responsibility we have to help improve economic opportunity for those we serve,” said Steve Steinour, Huntington chairman, president and CEO. “Our purpose of looking out for people guides us to be a catalyst for positive change and to ensure under-resourced consumers and businesses have the access to capital, affordable housing and other resources to achieve their goals and to pursue their dreams. Our recently completed merger with TCF Financial Corporation enables us to renew and strengthen our commitment to improving the financial stability and quality of life for people in our local communities.”
NCRC Member Quotes:
“I appreciate Huntington’s proactiveness to engage community members in a dialogue on how they can enhance their efforts to ensure access to financial services and increase wealth for low- and moderate-income communities and families. This is important as we recover from the aftermath of a pandemic that expanded the wealth disparities between the have and have nots, particularly Black and Brown communities. We look forward to continuing our partnership and dialogues so that we are providing examples of how communities and banks can work together toward a common goal to strengthen communities.” Katy Crosby, NCRC board chair
“In Milwaukee, we look forward to Huntington Bank’s increased presence, joining our work to increase homeownership among people of color and eliminate the racial wealth gap.” Bethany Sanchez, Senior Administrator, Fair Lending Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council & NCRC Vice Chairperson
“Urban Land Conservancy is very excited about Huntington entering the Colorado market and their new commitment to better serve communities and businesses of color. Many of the neighborhoods we support do not have access to traditional bank capital, and Huntington’s new community plan to invest $12 billion in mortgages for people of color along with their $10 billion in small business loans that support underserved neighborhoods, are critical to creating a more equitable Colorado.” Aaron Miripol, President & CEO of the Urban Land Conservancy in Denver & NCRC board member.
“I truly appreciated the intensive input process that Huntington went through in partnership with NCRC to develop this plan. Many banks would not invest the time, but it is key to understanding the challenges that underserved communities are faced with, and without it, how can one effectively address those challenges. I appreciated Huntington’s forward thinking approach and look forward to continuing this important work.” Ernest Hogan, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) & NCRC board member
“This agreement represents a strong commitment of Huntington Bank to its new co-headquarters city of Detroit. The organizations of the Detroit Reinvestment Coalition look forward to partnering with Huntington to expand housing counseling, home rehab and affordable housing in African American and Latino neighborhoods in our city.” Phyllis Edwards, Bridging Communities & Detroit Reinvestment Coalition & NCRC board member
“Here, as Huntington is our hometown bank in Columbus, Ohio, this plan reassures us that even as the bank grows and the headquarters is split with Detroit, the bank will maintain its CRA leadership in Columbus, particularly in African American neighborhoods and in lower-income communities. IMPACT and the Columbus Reinvestment Coalition look forward to collaboration with the bank around job training, housing, and small business development.” Bo Chilton, IMPACT and the Columbus Reinvestment Coalition
“We’ve been incredibly impressed with Huntington Bank’s commitment to the community as they expand into the Twin Cities. Leadership at Huntington Bank has been incredibly intentional in understanding and proactively providing tools to create and preserve affordable housing through a racial equity lens. We look forward to working with Huntington Bank through their first mortgage products, community development lending, and investments in Minneapolis.” Jeff Washburne, Executive Director, City of Lakes Community Land Trust
“Banks play a critical role in growing wealth in our communities. This plan, along with Huntington’s new status as Michigan’s second largest bank, sets up Huntington well to be a leader in Latinx and African American neighborhoods. The grassroots and community development organizations of Grand Rapids and Kent County are eager to work with Huntington to implement the commitments announced today.” Lakiya Jenkins, Director of Operations, LINC UP and the Grand Rapids Reinvestment Coalition.
“We appreciate Huntington’s commitment to address community needs and willingness to listen to the concerns of our people. This strengthens communities as well as builds trust in the institution.” Malcolm J. Costa, Chair Akron Summit County Reinvestment Coalition, President & CEO, Community Action Akron Summit
“The Resurrection Project and Huntington Bank are longtime partners in Chicago communities, working to improve financial opportunities and increase access to affordable homeownership for residents. Huntington has already been proactive in expanding their partnership with us this year. I look forward to working together with Huntington as the bank continues to serve the Chicago market even better as a result of the acquisition of TCF Bank.” Raul Raymundo, CEO of The Resurrection Project
“We are excited about Huntington Bank’s merger with TCF Bank. We have had several discussions with their team and have been impressed with their commitment to engage the community and provide tangible, measurable community benefits. We were particularly delighted that their CEO Stephen D. Steinour took the time to meet with Community Organizations to underscore their commitment to addressing the needs of the community and to be a strong banking partner. We welcome them to the Twin Cities.” Warren McLean, President, Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON)
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 600 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: www.ncrc.org
Summary Of The Community Benefits Plan Between The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Huntington
Huntington will lend or invest $40.7 billion to underserved borrowers and communities over a five-year period starting June 1, 2021.
Mortgage Lending to the Underserved
Community Benefits Commitment: $24 billion over 5 years
Huntington commits to $24 billion in loans to underserved borrowers and neighborhoods, with $12 billion specifically committed to lending for people and communities of color. To achieve this, Huntington will provide $35 million in closing cost assistance, offer loan programs that accept non-traditional credit references, offer low down payments, and expand participation in state loan programs. Huntington also commits to match or beat peers in lending to people of color and people with low-to-moderate incomes in 75% of its markets.
Small Business Lending
Community Benefits Commitment: $10 billion over 5 years
At least $2 billion will be for loans to businesses owned by people of color or women. Huntington will implement this by increasing Huntington’s micro loan program for businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, or in underserved neighborhoods, from $25 million to $100 million. Huntington will also expand its SBA lending program into the new and expanded TCF markets, and offer free entrepreneurship training that will assist businesses in developing a business plan and financial projections.
Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI)
Community Benefits Commitment: $6.7 billion over 5 years
Included in the $6.7 billion is a commitment for at least $2 billion dedicated to people and communities of color. Huntington will cultivate and support small affordable housing developers by offering entrepreneurship training and sponsoring industry training on affordable housing programs such as tax credit and Federal Home Loan Bank applications. Huntington acknowledges that redevelopment often results in gentrification. In an effort to reduce the impact that redevelopment may cause current residents, Huntington will strive to ensure that programs and/or products are available to assist residents to retain their home and that mitigating actions are part of redevelopment initiatives in which Huntington participates.
Other priorities include community development lending and investing that address food security, financial empowerment, workforce development, wealth building, and access to health and education in racially and ethnically diverse communities. Also, Huntington will continue to seek new ways to connect with communities of color and under-resourced populations through partnerships with local centers of influence, such as non-profits, realtors, faith-based organizations, local government, and other community organizations, and will work towards developing 75 new relationships with nonprofits led by people of color over the course of the plan.
Huntington will focus on expanding its staff diversity to align more closely to the communities Huntington serves and reach 50% gender, race, or ethnic diversity of its middle to executive management levels. Huntington will also compare the information against local demographics striving to achieve parity with demographics in all markets by the end of the Plan period. Huntington will also develop or participate in innovative training programs and partnerships to support hiring of diverse colleagues.
Huntington will increase the members of its National Community Advisory Council from eighteen to twenty-five, with members from across Huntington’s footprint. Huntington will work with the Council to develop various formats to communicate progress against the Plan, to ensure reporting continues to be transparent. This will include annual updates on the progress of implementation in a format mutually agreed upon by NCRC, Huntington, and the Council.
In addition to regular meetings of the Advisory Council, Huntington will hold annual community needs discussions and provide an update on progress against the 2021 Plan in each of its regions. In annual reports on plan implementation, Huntington will include information on specific local priorities that are identified in these annual local meetings and Huntington’s progress at addressing these important issues.