Five-year plan, which includes $60 billion for California, focuses on supporting equitable access to capital for low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color.
LOS ANGELES – May 9, 2022 – The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and U.S. Bancorp today announced a more than $100 billion, five-year community benefits plan as part of the bank’s planned acquisition of MUFG Union Bank. The plan continues and expands the important work underway by both financial institutions to build and support equitable access to capital for the communities they serve.
The plan builds on U.S. Bank’s previously announced U.S. Bank Access Commitment efforts and integrates existing community impact efforts from MUFG Union Bank. A majority of the commitments, 60% of the total, will support efforts in California, the state most impacted by the acquisition.
“We know that when we organize, we win. This agreement represents months of hard work, and is a win for LMI neighborhoods in California and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities,” said Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. “While there is still much work ahead, and a continued need to hold banks accountable, we celebrate these communities today as well as our members who were critical in discussions with the bank.”
“Banks are the economic engines of our communities. As such, we can make meaningful and significant impacts in supporting the ability of low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and communities of color to access capital and build wealth,” said Andy Cecere, Chairman, President and CEO, of U.S. Bank. “Our CBP is outcome-focused and blends the best programs and thinking of U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank. We want our actions today to create a ripple effect that will life future generations.”
“We appreciate the commitment from U.S. Bank and the personal leadership of Andy Cecere to collaborate with us, CRC and our members to develop the largest ever community benefits plan,” said Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of NCRC. “This plan is a milestone not only because of its overall size but also because of the scale of increases committed for mortgage and small business lending, affordable housing, environmental and social impact lending, and for the plan’s clear focus on racial equity and access to credit directed specifically to communities of color.”
The CBP was informed by multiple listening sessions with more than 200 community groups participating as well as a public hearing organized by regulators. Listening sessions were organized in partnership with CRC and NCRC. The plan focuses on foundational components of community and economic development where the company can have the most impact:
- Access to Homeownership
- Small Business Access to Capital & Technical Assistance
- Community Development Lending & Investment
- Philanthropy & Community Service
- Branch Services in California
- Environmental Stewardship & Commitment
- Advancing a Diverse & Equitable Workforce
- Diverse Segment Outreach
- Supplier Diversity
- Plan Implementation & Accountability
“We are grateful for the time 208 organizations took to participate in the listening sessions. Their insights and perspective were critical to helping us understand where we can improve financial outcomes for underserved communities through our products, investments and service to the community,” said Cecere. “We look forward to working with community leaders to implement equitable and effective solutions for the communities that need it most.”
“As bank mergers continue to rise, this agreement with U.S. Bank sets a precedent for a more collaborative and transparent process with both regulators and the banks. This process considered the voices of community leaders from low-income communities and communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by redlining,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO, Debra Gore-Mann. “Commitments to enhance lending services in LMI and communities of color, and the formation of Special Purpose Credit Programs that specifically support underserved communities are positive outcomes of this agreement. In the future, I hope to see stronger commitments to sustainability and investments that strengthen climate resilience in these communities. We look forward to continuing to work with U.S. Bank to fulfill these commitments.”
Over the last year, CRC has negotiated similar community benefits agreements with Banc of California, Silicon Valley Bank, and First Citizens Bank, totaling nearly $20 Billion in reinvestment for the California communities. The agreement with U.S. Bank is the largest ever.
The collective input from the community serves as the foundation for U.S. Bank’s community commitment, one of the most significant national and state commitments made by a bank in recent years. The public-facing community strategy includes commitments to:
- Providing at least a 20% increase in mortgage lending units nationally and a 30% increase in California to LMI borrowers, LMI communities and communities of color over five years.
- Increasing lending to small businesses and small farms by 15% nationally and 25% in California.
- Lending and investing increases of over 40% nationally and over 50% in California in community and economic development, affordable housing, environmental and social impact lending and investments during the five-year period with a focus on racial equity and access to credit for organizations and developers of color.
Additionally, U.S. Bank committed to developing three Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCP) with a substantial focus on California as follows:
- Small Business – Adopting, enhancing and expanding MUFG Union Bank’s SPCP, known as the Business Diversity Lending Program.
- Mortgage – Developing a mortgage SPCP in consultation with regulators and community groups, which will include down payment assistance for participating borrowers.
- Affordable Housing Development – Providing access to lending capital for minority-led/owned developers in support of affordable housing projects.
“Union Bank and U.S. Bank have been longstanding leaders in serving the community,” said Reba Dominski, Executive Vice President and Chief Social Responsibility Officer for U.S. Bank. “We look forward to engaging with the community as we continue this work to ensure the combined organization will have even greater social and environmental impact.”
Importantly, branches will continue to play an important role in U.S. Bank’s strategy and efforts to serve the community. The bank is taking a forward-looking approach to managing branches along with local community leaders to ensure the highest level of service is maintained. Additionally, the bank is committing to:
- Opening five new branches in LMI or middle-income Majority Minority (MMT) communities in California over five years.
- Opening or preserving five additional branches in LMI or MMT communities in California over five years decided with input from CRC.
- Upgrading functionality and accessibility of MUFG Union Bank and legacy U.S. Bank ATM’s that will also service MUFG Union customers.
- Partnering with California community groups to create five residencies located in nonprofits to provide access to a knowledgeable banker to help with small business lending and helping individuals improve their credit scores, savings and financial confidence.
- Adopting MUFG Union Bank’s high school and community college branch program and investing further to support financial education outreach.
Prior to reaching a decision on closing any branch in an LMI area, the bank will analyze the demographics of the neighborhood, consider community input and consider alternatives to closure as well as alternative delivery options to minimize the impact of the closure.
Following the close of the transaction, U.S. Bank is committed to retaining all MUFG Union Bank and U.S. Bank front-line branch employees in California, Washington and Oregon. These bankers are frequently the first people customers and prospective customers speak to. MUFG Union Bank employees have demonstrated a tremendous ability to serve their customers and U.S. Bank looks forward to having these branch employees join the combined bank’s team of talented West Coast employees.
CRC Member Quotes
“By this CBA, U.S. Bank has confirmed their genuine interest in providing access to capital to underserved communities, such as rural areas and Native Americans living in rural communities.”
– David Mendoza, Project Director, Fresno Native American & Business Development Center, Fresno, California
“Our LMI community needs access to financial services and capital for home ownership. It is the key to economic growth.”
– Erika Torres, Executive Director, Haven Neighborhood Services, Los Angeles, CA
“This long, hard-won, community benefits agreement out of the U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank merger is a win for the community that guarantees underserved communities will have the same resources to thrive.”
– Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment(formerly KCCD), Los Angeles, CA
“ASIAN, Inc., a current MUFG Union Bank customer, is proud of the California Reinvestment Coalition’s leadership on this Community Benefits Agreement. We look forward to an increased investment in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities by U.S. Bank, and we trust that U.S. Bank will continue cooperating with CRC as we hold them accountable to the CBA.”
– Lamar Heystek, President, ASIAN, Inc. 美亞輔鄰社, San Francisco, CA
“The California Housing Partnership congratulates U.S. Bank and the California Reinvestment Coalition on reaching this important community benefits agreement that will significantly expand the resources available to produce and preserve affordable homes in our state at a time when these resources are needed more than ever before.”
– Matt Schwartz, President & CEO, California Housing Partnership, San Francisco, CA
“I am pleased that the leadership of U.S. Bank has committed to making this unprecedented investment in California communities. I am certain that the talents and dedication of the combined, U.S. Bank and MUFG Union Bank Social Responsibility & CRA teams will have a significant impact on California small and diverse suppliers, nonprofits, and the thousands of underserved residents that are struggling to recover from one of the most economically devastating periods in our history.”
– Sharon Evans, CEO & Project Manager, Business Resource Group & Community Build, PM, Hawthorne, CA
“Neighborhoods in rural communities like southwest Fresno are getting left behind as we lack access to bank branches, small business credit, broadband and digital equity. We hope this Community Benefits Agreement will be a step in the direction of increasing stability and wealth in our communities. We look forward to working with US Bank to bring much needed resources to these neighborhoods.” – Eric Payne, Executive Director of the Central Valley Urban Institute
About the California Reinvestment Coalition
The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) is the largest statewide community reinvestment coalition in the country, with over 300 member organizations across California that provide services to tens of thousands of Californians. CRC members include affordable housing developers, community development financial institutions, housing counseling agencies, small business technical assistance providers, legal services agencies, and community-based organizations. Learn more about CRC at: calreinvest.org.
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 U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, with approximately 70,000 employees and $587 billion in assets as of March 31, 2022, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association. The Minneapolis-based company serves millions of customers locally, nationally and globally through a diversified mix of businesses: Consumer and Business Banking; Payment Services; Corporate & Commercial Banking; and Wealth Management and Investment Services. The company has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, social responsibility, and customer service, including being named one of the 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies and Fortune’s most admired superregional bank. Learn more at usbank.com/about.
California Reinvestment Coalition