The Community Lending Fact Book and companion Data Portal provides annual lending data to help people monitor and manage lending activity and ensure each neighborhood can access affordable and responsible credit to help create and maintain a healthy economy.
We’ve found that neighborhood residents, community-based organizations, investors and institutions, government officials, real estate agents, lenders, and regulators all use this information in a range of ways:
Community-Based Organizations & Residents
Community-based organizations may use this information to work with lenders to develop community lending partnerships and agreements. They can develop programs that specify target dollar amounts to meet the particular credit needs of a given community. They may also develop new or expanded marketing, advertising, and loan products to provide better service to the community.
Community groups may have opportunities to negotiate reinvestment agreements when financial institutions apply to acquire or merge with another financial institution, when banks undergo CRA examinations, and/or when a bank seeks to improve its CRA rating. Each of these activities presents the opportunity for community groups to make formal comments to regulators on an institution’s CRA records or to challenge those applications on the basis of CRA performance. In many cases, community organizations have used these opportunities to negotiate community benefit agreements with lenders.
The Fact Book can be a useful tool for community groups to assess the lending performance of their local financial institutions, and nonprofit groups may also use Fact Book data for grant applications and reports.
Individuals, Neighborhood Institutions, and other Institutional Investors
While individual or institutional depositors look for the best interest rates and the most convenience, it is also possible to use another criterion—a strong community reinvestment record. Individuals, unions, pension funds, and local civic and religious institutions can use the information in this Fact Book to consider reinvestment performance in choosing the financial institution where they will do business.
State and Local Government Officials
Government entities can use their economic and statutory power to encourage reinvestment and tighten regulatory controls. The City of Chicago, for example, could use the information in this Fact Book in deciding where to place municipal deposits. Fact Book data may also assist state and local government officials with economic development planning.
Real Estate Agents
Most homebuyers depend on advice from real estate agents to help them choose a mortgage lender. The range of mortgage products now available challenges agents to find new ways to best serve the financing needs of homebuyers and sellers. The information in this book can help identify lenders with a good lending record in specific communities. Conversely, agents may wish to approach local lenders with opportunities in areas where the lender is making fewer loans.
Lenders use various criteria to choose the communities in which they plan to increase their customer base, to expand their market share, or to augment their community reinvestment lending. Lenders can use this information to increase their lending within existing markets and to identify unmet market opportunities. Careful analysis of this information can help lenders accurately target marketing, hiring, and lending programs for both expansions of market share and increases in community reinvestment lending.
Federal and state banking regulators can use this information to assess the relative performance of different financial institutions in serving the credit needs of their communities as required under the CRA and state reinvestment requirements.