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(NNPA)—Minority-owned banks are crying foul about the federal government snubbing them for tax credits they say could generate economic development in the nation’s most needy communities.

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, an arm of the Treasury Department, issued in June $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit allocation to 76 entities across the country to spur economic development.

However, none were awarded to the nation’s minority banks, despite those institutions claiming the longest track records of deploying capital in the nation’s most underserved areas.

“The NMTC program has great potential to be part of a comprehensive economic solution in America’s inner cities, most of which still have not recovered from the Great Recession,” said Preston Pinkett, CEO of City National Bank and chairman of the bankers association. “But the groups best equipped to make those investments, minority banks —many of which have been in service for over 100 years —have largely been shut out of the NMTC program. We need our CDFI Fund to do more; we need a real change that will allow us to receive allocations so we can use these resources to improve our communities.”

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