The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), Columbia Bank (Columbia) and Umpqua Bank (Umpqua) announced an $8.1 billion Community Benefits Plan (Plan) that builds on both banks’ commitment to advance economic opportunity for individuals and support small business formation in historically underserved communities throughout its footprint. The plan for the combined bank, which will operate as Umpqua Bank, covers the period from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2027, and is subject to the close of the merger.
Investments outlined in the plan are the result of close collaboration between Umpqua and Columbia, with NCRC members, as well as ongoing engagement with community partners and stakeholders associated with both banks. Commitments will benefit urban and rural communities already served by Umpqua and Columbia, as well as those it will serve after completion of the merger.
Core commitments of the plan continue and expand upon robust efforts by Umpqua and Columbia in priority areas and include:
- $3.5 billion for Community Development & Philanthropy: The bank will support a wide array of community development initiatives with $3.5 billion in related investments and loans, as well as commit more than $21 million to philanthropic programs over a five-year period.
- $3 billion to Expand Access to Homeownership: The bank’s home mortgage programs will be leveraged to drive nearly $3.0 billion in related commitments specifically to improve homeownership for underrepresented communities of color, and low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and communities.
- $1.6 billion for Small Business Formation & Growth: The bank will expand access to capital for historically underserved communities by investing $1.6 billion in partnerships and programs that support business formation and growth in LMI income census tracts and enhanced opportunities for minority-owned businesses and those with revenues under $1 million.
“We appreciate the leadership and commitment of Columbia and Umpqua Bank to collaborate with us and our members to develop this community benefits plan that is sure to be impactful for the communities within the bank’s expanding footprint,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “The plan includes significant commitments to increase community development investments and loans, mortgage lending, including state and local market goals, and small business capital for underserved communities and communities of color.”
Umpqua Bank and Columbia Bank are currently the two largest banks headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. Upon closing, the combined bank will have more than $50 billion in assets, operate as one of the largest banks on the West Coast and rank as a top 30 US bank. Umpqua will operate in seven Western states and support some of the fastest growing communities and most vibrant commercial markets in the US.
“This plan reflects the strong cultural commitment to financial inclusion by both banks and the positive impact we believe a combined bank of our size and shared values can have on local communities,” said Umpqua Bank CEO Cort O’Haver. “We recognize that few priorities are more important than making sure more individuals and communities have access to economic opportunity, and we’re grateful for our close, ongoing partnership with the NCRC and its members to help us achieve the goals of this important work moving forward.”
Columbia Bank President & CEO Clint Stein, who will also serve as CEO of the combined bank, commented, “Umpqua and Columbia are cut from the same cloth when it comes to investing in the health and vitality of our communities. It’s one of the core commitments that will continue to guide our vision for the future. There’s been a true collaborative spirit as we’ve worked together with the NCRC to identify opportunities where we can have the biggest impact, and we’re excited to bring this commitment to life in communities across our footprint.”
Since 2016, NCRC has facilitated similar community benefits plans with 20 bank groups worth more than $549 billion for mortgage, small business and community development lending, investments and philanthropy in LMI and under-resourced communities.
Community benefits plans 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 plans depend on dialogue between banks, community organizations and local reinvestment coalitions to identify local priorities and strategies to address them, which continues after a plan is established through community councils set up to advise on implementation and to monitor bank performance.
NCRC Member Quotes
“Umpqua Bank and Columbia Bank have been important partners to nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest. Their work supporting asset building via Individual Development Accounts, affordable housing via investments and loans to farmworker and rural housing projects and providing CDFI investments to support all of this work is commendable. We know that the commitments made in this CBA will significantly increase the benefits to communities of color. We applaud and thank the banks for working with us to make this CBA happen.” Peter Hainley, NCRC Board Treasurer and Executive Director, CASA of Oregon, Sherwood, Oregon
“BIPOC, low-income, and rural communities will not be left behind thanks to this plan. CRC looks forward to seeing the plan implemented and ensuring the bank stands behind its commitment to the communities from which they profit.” Aliyah Shaheed, Bay Area Organizer, California Reinvestment Coalition, Oakland, California
“I know that the banks are serious because they agreed to measurable outcomes. We are impressed that Columbia and Umpqua are willing to have more impact in our under-invested communities, and to be held accountable to measurable results.” Brad Ketch, President, Community Development Corporation of Oregon, Gresham, Oregon
“Community Frameworks congratulates Columbia and Umpqua Bank for their commitment to creating more equitable communities through its lending practices and support for non-profits advancing affordable housing solutions. We applaud the bold and sweeping goals put forth in their new Community Benefits Plan, and hope it serves as a model for the banking world to follow. We also commend NCRC for their leadership in working with Columbia and Umpqua Bank to help create this ground-breaking document.” Deb Elzinga, President & CEO, Community Frameworks, Spokane, Washington
“As a Community Land Trust creating permanently affordable homeownership housing, Northern California Land Trust looks forward to working with Columbia/Umpqua Bank to meaningfully expand the lending and mortgage opportunities for Community Land Trust homes and projects throughout California. We also look forward to a spirit of innovation and dedication of promoting solutions that are outside of the traditional narrow boxes of traditional mortgage underwriting to make CLT homeownership a reality for more and more low-income Californians.” Francis McIlveen, Director of Real Estate Development, Northern California Land Trust, Berkeley, California
“We intend to collectively work towards dismantling the economic disparity and the existing dis-proportionality in an informed equitable fashion. Columbia Bank and Umpqua Bank’s response is critical to our success.” Hamdi Abdulle, Executive Director, African Community Housing and Development (ACHD), SeaTac, Washington
“I’m excited about the commitment to increase philanthropy funding for nonprofits and about the focus on workforce.” Maria Caballero Rubio, Executive Director, Centro Cultural, Cornelius, Oregon
Organizations Supporting The Community Benefits Plan
African Community Housing and Development (ACHD)
APANO Communities United Fund
Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Byrd Barr Place
California Community Land Trust Network
California Reinvestment Coalition
CASA of Oregon
Community Development Corporation of Oregon
Community Housing Fund
Compass Housing Alliance
Greater Sacramento Urban League
Human Solutions Inc.
Latino Leadership Council
Low Income Housing Institute
Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)
North State Planning and Development Collective
Northern California Land Trust
Northwest Coastal Housing
Northwest Fair Housing Alliance
Oakland Community Land Trust
Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing (ORFH)
Oregon Human Development Corporation
Para Los Niños de Highline
Portland Housing Center
REACH Community Development
ROSE Community Development
Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative
Tacoma Urban League
The Fair Housing Council of San Diego
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Washington Homeownership Resource Center
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 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 can be found at: www.ncrc.org.
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the seventeenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.
Summary of the Community Benefits Plan Between the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Umpqua Bank?
Umpqua Bank will lend or invest $8.1 billion to underserved borrowers and communities over a five-year period starting on January 1, 2023, subject to consummation of the above referenced merger. This Plan identifies the following goals as key priorities:
- Collaboration with groups in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Sacramento on the Black Homeownership Initiative 7 Point Plan, and applying these initiatives to Latino, Asian and Native American communities.
- Providing Community Development Corporations with reasonably priced lines or credit for acquisition and construction, to increase pre-development lending, and creating a fund for pre-development grants.
- Providing capacity building funding for minority-led and minority-serving organizations that are engaged in either economic development or social development.
- Working with metro area reinvestment coalitions to address ongoing reinvestment issues and continue to be a corporate public policy leader on initiatives that increase support for affordable housing and decrease poverty, such as the Oregon CARES Fund for Black Resiliency and Relief, which Umpqua Bank was selected to administer.
Mortgage Lending to the Underserved
Commitment: $3 billion in mortgage lending over 5 years
Umpqua commits to $3 billion in loans to underserved borrowers and neighborhoods, with sub goals for mortgage lending to borrowers with low and moderate incomes, as well as to Black, Latino, and Asian borrowers and neighborhoods. In addition, Umpqua commits to increasing mortgage originations to minorities in four markets such that, by the end of the five-year CBA term, annual mortgage originations to Black, Latino and Asian borrowers exceed aggregate market lending rates by 20% in four markets. These areas are Sonoma and Napa, CA; the Sacramento-Roseville CSA; the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Multistate MSA; and the Seattle-Tacoma, WA CSA.
To achieve these mortgage goals, Umpqua will, among other commitments, (i) offer loans (as allowed by agency investors) to individuals that have Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN); (ii) remain a participant in the California Mortgage Relief Program, the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund and the Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund; and (iii) implement procedures to support housing counseling and foreclosure prevention, such as providing referral sources to a HUD-certified counseling agency at the time of application and at the time of adverse action.
Small Business Lending
Commitment: $1.6 billion over 5 years
$1.6 billion will be for loans to businesses located in LMI census tracts, or to businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenues. Umpqua will implement this goal with measures that will include ensuring that staff can assist small business owners in multiple languages, throughout the bank’s footprint, and will explore the development of culturally inclusive business loans. In addition, Umpqua will formalize a referral relationship with CDFIs that can assist small business applicants unable to obtain direct financing from the bank in a “second look” program.
Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI)
Commitment: $3.5 billion over 5 years
An initial and key priority for the combined bank will be to provide Community Development Corporations reasonably priced lines of credit for acquisition and construction, to increase pre-development lending, and to create a fund for pre-development grants. Umpqua also commits to increasing its community development loans and investments in rural communities in order to reverse the dramatic decline in housing stock in rural communities. In addition, Umpqua Bank commits to prioritize financing minority-led organizations engaged in economic or social development, with whom Umpqua or Columbia Bank have not had a previous relationship.
CRA Focused Philanthropy
Commitment: $21 million over 5 years
Umpqua Bank will publish its CRA-eligible philanthropy priorities and share the information with NCRC and its members, to ensure that grant applicants pursue grants that fit with the Bank’s priorities. As a key priority, Umpqua Bank will provide grants for capacity building for minority-led and minority-serving organizations that are engaged in either economic or social development. In addition, Umpqua Bank will track CRA eligible philanthropic support to organizations with Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American leadership or benefitting constituencies.
Within the plan timeframe, Umpqua Bank commits to opening at least four new branches in census tracts that are LMI and/or majority people of color, within a combination of the following areas: King County Washington, Northern California, Los Angeles, or another LMI or MMCT location where the Bank has identified an area of need. Umpqua will establish the current branch distribution as the minimum threshold in LMI census tracts and Majority-Minority areas.
Plan Governance and Local Implementation
Columbia Bank and Umpqua Bank will merge their existing Community Advisory Panel, and will expand it to 16 members. NCRC will name 50% of the members of the Community Advisory Panel. Umpqua also agrees to release annual reporting with the first report available by the end of the second quarter of 2024. Umpqua also commits to maintaining an ongoing relationship with NCRC-related reinvestment coalitions in Oregon, Washington and California.