Cadence Bank announced today its 2022-2026 Community Benefits Plan, developed in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), building on the bank’s longstanding commitment to support traditionally underserved communities, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods, people of color and small businesses.
The $20.7 billion five-year plan includes provision for mortgage lending, small business lending, community development lending and investments, philanthropy and service hours in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
“We appreciate the leadership and commitment of Cadence Bank to listen and work with NCRC and our members to create this community benefits plan,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “The investments, services, philanthropy and other goals spelled out in this plan are an important step to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and neighborhoods of color where the bank operates.”
“I’m encouraged that these banks, Cadence and BancorpSouth, have agreed to put their commitments to low- and moderate-income communities, small businesses, especially those owned by people of color and other institutions in writing,” said Bob Dickerson, Executive Director of the Birmingham Business Resource Center and an NCRC board member. “I am personally committed to working with the bank to help ensure that there is actual community benefit and look forward to beginning that effort.”
The plan follows the October 29, 2021, completion of the legacy BancorpSouth Bank and legacy Cadence Bancorporation merger, which created a leading regional banking franchise with approximately $50 billion in assets and more than 400 branch locations in its nine-state footprint as of year-end 2021. Before the merger, in 2019, Cadence and NCRC established a $2.5 billion community benefits plan.
“Cadence is dedicated to understanding the financial needs of its communities and providing solutions to help make them stronger,” said Dan Rollins, chairman and CEO of Cadence Bank. “Founded on the principle that neighbors should help neighbors, our company believes it is only as strong as the communities it serves. This $20.7 billion plan will strengthen our efforts to improve the places where we live and work. We’re proud to partner with NCRC to provide economic opportunities to LMI communities, neighborhoods of color and small businesses.”
Since 2016, NCRC has facilitated similar community benefits agreements with 18 bank groups worth a combined $441 billion for mortgage, small business and community development lending, investments and philanthropy in 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 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 $20.7 billion five-year plan features the following:
- $11.8 billion in residential purchase-money mortgage loans to LMI borrowers, LMI geographies, people of color (including African American and Latinx), and majority-minority census tracts;
- $6.5 billion in small business lending to businesses located in LMI census tracts and/or businesses with less than $1 million in gross annual revenues;
- $2.4 billion in community development lending and investments, supporting activities intended to increase the availability of affordable housing, services, social impact and economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income persons or help to stabilize and improve conditions in distressed communities.
The plan also includes additional initiatives Cadence will undertake to enhance its impact on the underserved in its communities, including its commitment to volunteer services, grants and donations, and the possibility of new branches and product offerings, where feasible.
The bank’s Corporate Community Advisory Council is an established key community engagement initiative. Under the plan, this group comprised of local executives, community leaders, representatives of nonprofit organizations and other community stakeholders will collaborate with the bank to continue to offer and develop innovative loan products, investments and services for the successful implementation of the plan.
Organizations Supporting the Community Benefits Agreement
Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. – Atlanta, Georgia
Birmingham Business Resource Center – Birmingham, Alabama
BLDG Memphis – Memphis, Tennessee
Building Alabama Reinvestment – Birmingham, Alabama
Covenant Faith Outreach Min. Inc. – Tupelo, Mississippi
Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama – Birmingham, Alabama
Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc. – Atlanta, Georgia
Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, New Orleans, Louisiana
Housing Education and Economic Development – Jackson, Mississippi
HousingNOLA, New Orleans, Louisiana
HousingLOUISIANA, New Orleans, Louisiana
Houston Area Urban Community Development Corporation, Houston, Texas
Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. – Huntsville, Alabama
Renaissance Community Loan Fund – Gulfport, Mississippi
Southern Dallas Progress Community Development Corporation – Dallas, Texas
TCH Development, Inc – Carrollton, Texas
Texas Association of Community Development Corporations – Austin, Texas
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 Cadence Bank
Cadence Bank (NYSE: CADE) is a leading regional banking franchise with approximately $50 billion in assets and more than 400 branch locations across the South, Midwest and Texas. Cadence provides consumers, businesses and corporations with a full range of innovative banking and financial solutions. Services and products include consumer banking, consumer loans, mortgages, home equity lines and loans, credit cards, commercial and business banking, treasury management, specialized lending, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, equipment financing, correspondent banking, SBA lending, foreign exchange, wealth management, investment and trust services, financial planning, retirement plan management, and personal and business insurance. Cadence is committed to a culture of respect, diversity and inclusion in both its workplace and communities. Cadence Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
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Summary Of The Community Benefits Plan Between The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Cadence Bank
Cadence will lend or invest $20.7 billion to underserved borrowers and communities over a five-year period beginning in 2022.
Mortgage Lending to the Underserved
Established Goal: $11.8 billion in mortgage loans to traditionally underserved persons and communities across Cadence’s nine state footprint
Cadence commits to state based mortgage goals for Black borrowers, Hispanic borrowers, and borrowers with low-to-moderate income. To achieve these goals, Cadence will work with community stakeholders to promote features of its mortgage loan products with the goal of further expanding access to home ownership financing. This agreement includes promoting features such as accepting Individual Tax Identification Numbers in lieu of Social Security numbers on mortgage applications, and to increasing the number of referral relationships with organizations that can offer counseling to mortgage applicants to help applicants become eligible for mortgages.
Small Business Lending
Established Goal: $6.5 billion over 5 years
Cadence commits to state based goals for loans to small businesses and businesses located in LMI census tracts. Cadence will review features of its small business loan products with the goal of further expanding access to creditworthy small businesses. Cadence will also endeavor to support community development financial institutions (“CDFIs”), potentially by referring business loan applicants that are not yet ready for traditional bank financing, but that demonstrate promise for the future, to CDFIs for technical assistance. Cadence will collaborate with the NCRC to review small business lending goals for Black-owned businesses, Latinx-owned businesses, and women-owned businesses once the regulatory agencies provide a final rule on the process and methodology for gathering government-monitoring information for small business borrowers. In the interim, Cadence is committed to supporting initiatives that promote small business ownership amongst Black, Latinx, and Women entrepreneurs.
Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI)
Established Goal: $2.4 billion over 5 years
Cadence will look for ways to support; non-profit capacity building; innovative ways to support non-profit developers of affordable single-family housing such as favorable loan terms for non-profit developers, long-term term financing, gap financing, and pre-development loans; loans and impact investments for CDCs and CDFIs to finance critical community facilities like healthcare centers, educational centers, and broadband access; financing for smaller, minority-led non-profit CDCs and CDFIs who may struggle to access capital from traditional sources; programs to remediate environmental damage or the damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes; and more.
CRA Focused Philanthropy
Established Goal: $17.1 million over 5 years
Philanthropic priorities include; loan subsidy programs to provide down payment and closing-cost assistance for LMI and first-time buyers; homebuyer education and financial literacy programs with a special focus on LMI and African-American and Latinx families; civic engagement and community revitalization initiatives; food scarcity and insecurity in LMI/MM communities; access to healthcare/mental health services in rural and urban communities; and more.
Racial Equity & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Cadence looks forward to working with the member organizations of the NCRC to identify meaningful initiatives that address issues specific to communities of color and/or the underserved. Likely focus areas include; community policing and mental health services; non-partisan voting rights campaigns; policy and research support related to appraisal gaps for low-wealth and/or communities of color; adult apprenticeship/workforce development; neighborhood revitalization/blight removal; community environmental health and wellness programming; and more. Cadence will also partner with the NCRC and other stakeholder associations to develop a strategic framework specific to addressing the needs and concerns of Black Farmers in the Southeast and Texas.
Cadence will collaborate with community stakeholders to remove barriers of opportunity by providing a listing of bank procurement opportunities with routine frequency, working with the NCRC to identify diverse suppliers, maintaining clear supplier qualifications, and providing opportunities for diverse suppliers to learn how they can qualify for opportunities.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Cadence plans to expand its relationships with in-footprint HBCUs in a number of strategic ways via its corporate philanthropy and direct engagement. This will include expanding current internship programs that provide exposure to careers in financial services and eventually lead to full-time employment for LMI and/or students of color, and providing low interest community development loans and evaluating other unique loan structure options for HBCU campuses that can be used for campus improvements, renovations, or construction needs. Cadence will also endeavor to partner with the NCRC and other stakeholder associations to evaluate other support initiatives for HBCUs such as scholarships, including UNCF and the Thurgood Marshall Fund, and academic programs which promote and sustain pathways to careers in financial services for LMI and/or students of color, as well as grants that advance and promote black entrepreneurship on HBCU campuses.
Plan Governance and Annual Reporting
Cadence will form a sixteen member Implementation Committee to discuss the goals, objectives, and progress of the Plan, half of the Implementation Committee will be NCRC members. Cadence will provide an annual report to NCRC in a format and structure to be mutually agreed upon with NCRC that captures the overall plan detail, implementation, and performance measures. The annual report should demonstrate how the bank is making progress against the plan’s objectives on both a national and state-by-state basis and highlight any impediments to performance. In addition, no later than three months after the closing of the merger, Cadence will provide NCRC with at least one contact for each state within Cadence’s geographic branch footprint that NCRC may share with its members that seek to discuss proposals with Cadence related to the implementation of this plan and it’s goals.