Bank of America to fund low-income black and Latino financial institutions
Two national coalitions of minority-led community development financial institution (CDFI) leaders are set to receive $25 million in funding from Bank of America.
The National Alliance of Latino CDFI Executives (NALCE) and the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) announced the investment Thursday, at the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) National Conference in Washington.
Bank of America’s investment follows the bank’s announcement earlier this month of a program to boost homeownership among Black and Latinos by offering no-down payment, no-closing-cost mortgages in some communities.
CDFIs are financial institutions that serve disadvantaged communities that have little or no access to traditional banking services.
The investment in NALCE and The Alliance aims to equip financial institutions with cultural skills to help their communities create wealth.
“This example of Black and Latino alliances working collaboratively will serve as a model for other coalitions to effectively reach diverse communities of color,” said Marla Bilonick, CEO of NALCAB and President of NALCE.
“We are delighted to partner with NALCAB for this announcement as we strengthen our partnership. This is a historic investment by Bank of America that recognizes the importance of minority-led CDFIs and advances the economic empowerment of their communities,” said Lenwood Long, CEO of The Alliance.
CDFIs are increasingly important in communities without access to traditional banking services, and they have a growing impact on the national economy.
“CDFIs are one of the most effective vehicles for equitable economic investment in traditionally underinvested communities, but the CDFIs most qualified to serve our communities struggle to be equitably capitalized. This collaboration demonstrates that opportunities and impact are literally doubled when we work together,” said Bilonick.
For example, a CDFI run by Chicanos Por La Causa, an anti-discrimination group established in the 1960s, was the third-largest Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender by dollar volume and the largest lender in number of loans in 2021.
Bank of America has invested more than $2 billion in 250 CDFIs across the country.
“We are working across our business to address important societal priorities, including racial equality and economic opportunity,” said Dan Letendre, director of CDFI at Bank of America.
“NALCAB and Alliance member CDFIs are uniquely positioned to understand the issues facing their communities and bring the cultural and linguistic skills necessary to serve them,” added Letendre.