The multibillion-dollar amendment builds on
First Citizens’ existing Community Benefits Plan.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2023 — Rise Economy, formerly the California Reinvestment Coalition, announced today that it has negotiated an agreement with First Citizens Bank to bolster investments in California communities by way of a $6.5 billion amendment to the bank’s existing $16 billion Community Benefits Plan following its acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
Under the agreement, First Citizens will expand on several initiatives agreed upon under its current five-year Community Benefits Plan — which includes $6.9 billion for community development, $5.9 billion for small business lending, and $3.2 billion for home purchase mortgage loans, among other goals and commitments — as well as recognizing some of SVB’s pre-existing relationships.
The $6.5 billion amendment includes the following commitments:
- $2.25 billion in small business lending.
- $3.6 billion in CRA community development lending and investing.
- $650 million in residential mortgages to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and in LMI census tracts as reported on the Bank’s annual Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) loan application registers; and
- $35 million in CRA grants/contributions, of which $10 million will be dedicated to an affordable home mortgage subsidy program, and $5 million to grants for small businesses with gross annual revenues of $1 million or less.
“We are relieved and deeply proud to have arrived at this plan after months of hard work and collaborative negotiation between Rise Economy, our members and First Citizens’ leadership,” said Rise Economy Chief Executive Officer Paulina Gonzalez-Brito. “Throughout the discussions with First Citizens, our main goal was to create a plan that would truly benefit California communities. The resulting plan demonstrates First Citizens’ commitment to effectively addressing the needs of low-income and Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities in California.”
Kevin Stein, Rise Economy Chief of Legal and Strategy, commended First Citizens for its willingness to recognize some of the obligations of SVB.
“We applaud First Citizens Bank for stepping up to honor community commitments made by Silicon Valley Bank, and for doing so on top of its existing CBA with California and national communities,” Stein said. “This is a noteworthy achievement, a strong outcome and a hopeful sign for small businesses, first-time homebuyers, and affordable housing and community development efforts in our state.”
In March, North Carolina-based First Citizens agreed to purchase out of FDIC receivership substantially all loans and certain other assets and assume all customer deposits and certain other liabilities of SVB.
SVB, which was the nation’s 16th largest bank at the time, agreed to an $11 billion, five-year CBA with Rise Economy starting in January 2022 as part of its acquisition of Boston Private Bank. The agreement included $9 billion specifically for California, $4 billion in small business loans of $1 million or less, $4 billion in CRA community development loans and investments, $1 billion in residential mortgages to LMI borrowers and $60 million in charitable contributions.
“This CBA/plan will open doors for small business owners, first-time homebuyers, and many others. Once implemented, this transformative plan will ensure that no community in California is left behind,” said Alex Vega, Director of Lending Services at Ventura County Community Development Corporation.
“This is a huge win for California communities as the commitments outlined in this plan will directly impact neighborhoods experiencing collateral damage from bank branch closures and mergers. These communities deserve equal access to lending opportunities and banking products, just like their counterparts in wealthier communities. We look forward to seeing the implementation of these commitments statewide and we appreciate First Citizens Bank for assuring continuity of critical community services upon which we have relied,” said Duane Bay, Executive Director East Palo Alto Community Alliance and Neighborhood Development Organizations & Pahali Community Land Trust.
“We couldn’t have done this work without our members and allies,” Gonzalez-Brito added. “We also thank the National Reinvestment Coalition for their participation, vital input and invaluable feedback.”
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. Learn more about Rise Economy.