Community Banking Partnership

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Description

Cliff Rosenthal:

". The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) movement in the U.S., which includes community development credit unions, banks, loan funds, venture capital funds, and micro-enterprise organisations, has outperformed the largest financial institutions over the last year. Credit unions, for example, increased their mortgage and consumer lending in 2008. Many community development loan funds report more well-qualified demand than they can readily meet. Community development banks have demonstrated a solid record. The CDFI movement, which brings together all these various sectors, have achieved unprecedented recognition and support from the new administration of President Obama. The U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund, established and sustained through the joint efforts of CDFI Coalition for fifteen years, has received a special $100 million “stimulus” appropriation, and the President’s request calls for a 100 per cent increase in the annual appropriation in the coming year. There are several lessons that we can draw from these successes. First of all, the community-based financial model is a viable one, especially in times of crisis. Second, CDFIs have demonstrated to government their value as a highly targeted means to provide financing to underserved and excluded populations, which have been hit especially hard by the downturn. Third, as demonstrated by the broad diversity of CDFIs in the U.S., multiple, creative financial tools and institutions are needed. Fourth, bringing together these diverse organizations in a lasting, disciplined coalition maximizes the impact and benefit of the various community development financial sectors. Britain’s credit unions and community development loan funds can raise their game by building a broadbased Community Development Finance alliance that as a mutual movement can speak with one voice to Government and to other social investors. Community Banking Partnerships are an outstanding example of thinking outside the conventional banking box. The established CBPs have proven to be capable lenders, vigorous builders of partnerships with the public and private sector, and important providers of financial advice and other non-monetary services. The experience of these urban and rural “pathfinders,” with their comprehensive approach, is well worth replicating on a broader scale. The publication by nef and NACUW of this report is an important step in validating and promoting the CBP model." (http://www.nacuw.org.uk/sites/www.nacuw.org.uk/files2/pdf/Community_Banking_Partnership.pdf)