CDFI Fund Awards $25.2 Million to Banks that Increased Investments in Severely Distressed Communities

Recipients Collectively Increased Lending and Services to Nation's Most Distressed Areas by $455 million

September 15, 2020

Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced today nearly $25.2 million in awards to 138 FDIC-insured banks, through the fiscal year (FY) 2020 round of the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), for increasing investments to communities experiencing severe economic distress across the nation.  All of the nearly $25.2 million awarded will be reinvested into economically distressed communities and CDFIs, generating further economic opportunity.

Through the BEA Program, the CDFI Fund provides monetary awards to FDIC-insured depository institutions that successfully demonstrate an increase in their investments in CDFIs or in their own lending, investing, or service activities in the most distressed communities.  BEA Distressed Communities are defined as those communities where at least 30% of residents have incomes that are less than the national poverty level and where the unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national unemployment rate.  The CDFI Fund received 144 applications requesting over $143 million in FY 2020 BEA Program round funding.

"With today's announcement, the BEA Program has provided more than $546 million in total awards to depository institutions since the program's inception," said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris.  "Applications this year increased 23% compared to FY 2019, with over $143 million requested in award dollars. BEA Program award recipients continue to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to serving the nation's most distressed areas, including $442 million in lending, investments, and services provided to residents and businesses in Persistent Poverty Counties in FY 2019."

Collectively, during the one-year assessment period for the FY 2020 BEA Program round, the 138 award recipients increased:

  • loans and investments in distressed communities by $365.2 million;
  • loans and deposits to CDFIs by $43.3 million;
  • equity-like loans and grants to CDFIs by $31.7 million; and
  • the provision of financial services in distressed communities by $15.1 million.

Of the 138 depository institutions awarded funding, 86 have committed to investing approximately $2.86 million, or 11.4% of total FY 2020 appropriated funds, in Persistent Poverty Counties, which exceeds the Congressional mandate of 10%. Persistent Poverty Counties, per Congressional guidance, are those counties that have experienced poverty rates of at least 20% over the past 30 years as measured by the 2011–2015 five-year data series available from the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau.