SANTA ANA, Calif. / SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— Rise Economy, formerly the California Reinvestment Coalition, and Banc of California, N.A. (“Banc of California”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banc of California, Inc. (NYSE: BANC) announced today a $4.1 billion, three-year Community Benefits Plan (the “Plan”). Banc of California and Rise Economy leaders worked collaboratively to develop the expansive plan in connection with Banc of California’s transformational merger with Pacific Western Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PacWest Bancorp (Nasdaq: PACW). The Plan is intended to make a meaningful and positive impact in communities served by the combined institution.
The Plan includes the following goals and targets, among others, of the combined institution for the three years following the closing of the merger:
- Small business lending of $1.45 billion, including increasing participation in USDA Loan Programs and the State Small Business Credit Initiative, as well as promotion of products through ethnic minority media outlets;
- Community development lending of $2.3 billion focused on supporting long-term affordable housing;
- $300 million in community development investments to support low-income housing, homelessness prevention, small business investment companies and BIPOC and women-led community development financial institutions (CDFIs);
- Participation and support for Community Land Trusts (CLTs), including consideration of new products to meet the unique needs of CLTs, and $20 million in investments that support Affordable Housing Preservation efforts by CLTs and affordable housing developers;
- Enhanced due diligence for real estate lending to include tracking housing code violations, evictions, and other measures to be determined;
- The development of a strategy to support climate resiliency programs in LMI and BIPOC communities which will include a minimum of $250,000 in donations and other opportunities; and
- $500,000 to focus on strategic outreach, investment, support and engagement with tribal and indigenous communities, and a commitment to meet with Native American leaders in 2024, leading to the development of a plan in 2024 to serve the Native American community in the combined institution’s assessment area.
In addition, the combined institution will increase its charitable donations and community service goals, as well as continue to discuss community needs with Rise Economy and other community organizations going forward.
In formulating the Plan, Banc of California and Rise Economy members worked together to identify the initiatives of greatest impact to low-income and BIPOC communities. With this mutual goal, Banc of California welcomed input from Rise Economy members to better understand areas of need and engaged in positive and productive discussions with Rise Economy representatives. As a result of these discussions and our shared dedication to serving the needs of our communities, Banc of California incorporated direct community feedback in crafting a focused and impactful Plan for the combined company.
“Banc of California and Pacific Western Bank both have strong, longstanding records of serving our communities and we look forward to building upon that foundation as a combined organization to expand our services, investments and products in communities that need it most. Our work with Rise Economy is a model of collaboration, with us working together to incorporate many of their critical recommendations into our Community Benefits Plan to make a positive impact in underserved communities. It also showcases the positive benefits our merger will have for our communities in the years to come,” said John Sotoodeh, Banc of California’s Chief Operating Officer.
“We appreciate Banc of California’s commitment to helping the communities they serve and the constructive way in which they listened to the experience and concerns of Rise Economy members working hard every day to build wealth in their communities. The bank is taking a meaningful step forward in meeting the banking needs of low-income communities and communities of color in our state. We are excited to see Banc of California step up on priority issues for our members, including Special Purpose Credit Programs, affordable housing, climate resiliency, broadband access, and support for Community Land Trusts as well as CDFIs and affordable housing nonprofits led by people of color,” said Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, CEO of Rise Economy.
In July, Banc of California, Inc. announced a transformational merger with PacWest Bancorp in a deal that will create a combined bank with approximately $36.1 billion in assets and more than 70 branches in California, as well as branches in Colorado and North Carolina. The Plan will be submitted to the bank’s regulators to be incorporated into the public application file in connection with the proposed transaction and will become effective upon consummation of the proposed transaction, which remains subject to satisfaction of closing conditions, including receipt of required stockholder and regulatory approvals and the concurrent closing of a $400 million equity capital raise.
Read the complete version of Banc of California’s Community Benefit Plan
About Rise Economy
Rise Economy, formerly the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), is a member-led alliance focused on creating a more equitable society where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have access to resources and opportunities to build generational wealth. As the largest statewide community reinvestment alliance in the country, Rise Economy advocates for policies and practices that promote racial and economic justice and that address the root causes of inequality, redlining, and systemic racism.
About Banc of California, Inc.
Banc of California, Inc. (NYSE: BANC) is a bank holding company with $9.37 billion in assets at June 30, 2023 and one wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Banc of California, N.A. (the Bank). The Bank has 32 offices including 26 full-service branches located throughout Southern California. Through our dedicated professionals, we provide customized and innovative banking and lending solutions to businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals throughout California, and full stack payment processing solution through our subsidiary Deepstack Technologies. We help to improve the communities where we live and work, by supporting organizations that provide financial literacy and job training, small business support and affordable housing. With a commitment to service and to building enduring relationships, we provide a higher standard of banking. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. For more information, please visit us at www.bancofcal.com.
Brian Maxey, Rise Economy
Debora Vrana, Banc of California