A pledge to develop partnerships with minority depository institutions is being promoted to all large and midsize banks by the agency that charters and supervises national banks and federal savings associations.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in a release Thursday, said the Project REACh Minority Depository Institution (MDI) Pledge aims to draw the banks to the aid of MDIs and better promote fair, equal, and full access to financial products and services in their communities.
The REACh” in Project REACh stands for Roundtable for Economic Access and Change, the OCC explains on its website, and the project brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business, and technology to reduce specific barriers that prevent full, equal, and fair participation in the nation’s economy.
Banks taking the Project REACh MDI Pledge, the agency notes, are stating they will invest in their sponsored MDIs, provide technical assistance, facilitate business opportunities, sponsor executive training, and commit resources to support MDI operations and customers (for example, through loan participation programs, providing rent-free branch office space sponsoring financial literacy programs).
The OCC said that in announcing the pledge, bank members of Project REACh are the first to sign on, including Citibank, Flagstar, Huntington, Texas Capital, and Wells Fargo.