The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) said it was “concerned” about parts of the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s (CDFI Fund) revised CDFI Certification Application process.
The CDFI Program actively works to enhance the ability of community banks to address financial inclusion issues. The program invests federal resources — which are matched with private funding — in CDFIs working to serve low-income and underserved people and communities.
Rebeca Romero Rainey, ICBA president and CEO, said: “We remain concerned with provisions that would restrict access to credit for certain populations, especially those in rural areas or in need of small-dollar products.
“ICBA will continue working with CDFI banks in the coming weeks to fully understand the impact of these final changes and to continue working with the CDFI Fund, Treasury, and Congress to ensure the revisions are not detrimental to community banks and the communities they serve.”
However, the group thanked the Treasury for its engagement with ICBA on the CDFI certification application process.
Other banking groups welcomed the revisions to the program.
Nicole Elam, president and CEO of the National Bankers Assocation (NBA), said: "The NBA has worked with the Treasury Department and the CDFI Fund on many issues relevant to MDIs and we are pleased with the very balanced approach reflected in the new certification process.
“We are grateful that our members’ concerns were given great weight and many are addressed in today's updated certification requirements."
The American Bankers Association (ABA) also praised the Treasury for its ongoing engagement with CDFI members.
Rob Nichols, president and CEO, said: “While we are still reviewing the revised CDFI certification application released today, we are thankful for the Treasury’s commitment to ensuring that CDFI banks are able to meet the needs of the communities they serve. We look forward to working with the Treasury to ensure CDFIs can continue to deliver on their critically important mission to help communities thrive.”