The Northwest Bank Community Benefits Agreement was announced on March 3, 2017. The agreement was reached between Northwest Bank and the BNCRC and will be in place for five years. It commits to significantly increasing Northwest’s lending and reinvestment. This agreement is exclusive to the Northwest footprint in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Read the press release.
As part of Northwest’s Community Benefits Agreement, Northwest will lend or invest approximately $102 million to low-and-moderate income (LMI) borrowers and communities, and borrowers and communities of color, in the Buffalo-Niagara MSA over a five-year period from 2017-2021.
The plan includes:
- Mortgage lending: increase lending to undeserved borrowers by 10% each year of the agreement
- Small business lending: $75.5 million will be lended to business in the Buffalo-Niagara MSA with less than a million dollars in gross annual revenue
- Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI): $18.3 million will be devoted to CDLI in the Buffalo-Niagara MSA
- Philanthropy: $200,000 will be disseminated in grants over the five-year CBA, which represents a twentyfold increase in Northwest’s philanthropy to the Buffalo-Niagara MSA
- New branch: new plan will be developed, including opening a branch in an LMI census tract
- Staffing: two Community Development Officers will be hired
- Refugee services: refugee services will be provided by working with local workforce development and refugee organizations to develop a skilled staff to work in the financial services industry
- Weatherization/energy efficient loans: working with the Buffalo Cooperative Credit Union to develop an alternative to their Home Equity Line product that will assist LMI borrowers with low equity in their homes in making their residence weatherized and energy efficient
- Plan governance: meet with BNCRC quarterly to monitor and evaluate the agreement, with the CEO and other top executive present