PNC pledges $88B to help bolster underserved areas

Community Benefits Plan will make home, business and community loans easier to get

The PNC Financial Services Group — in what officials are calling a continued emphasis on bolstering economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities — announced Tuesday its Community Benefits Plan, a program that will provide $88 billion in loans, investments and other financial support.

The plan, which will begin Jan. 1, 2022, pledges to do the following over a four-year period:

  • Originate at least $47 billion in residential mortgage and home-equity loans to LMI and minority borrowers and in LMI and majority-minority census tracts;
  • Originate at least $26.5 billion in loans to small businesses in LMI communities and majority-minority census tracts, businesses with less than $1 million in revenue and small farms;
  • Provide at least $14.5 billion in community development loans and investments across all markets, including at least $400 million for Community Development Financial Institutions that help meet the banking and financial service needs of traditionally underserved communities;
  • Increase to at least $500 million PNC’s charitable giving, including sponsorships and philanthropic grants. This includes the continuation of BBVA USA‘s existing multiyear grant and charitable sponsorship commitments with nonprofit organizations, and a commitment to maintain or increase the current levels of philanthropic support provided to community groups in Birmingham in recognition of the history of the city as the headquarters city of BBVA USA and its predecessor bank.

PNC officials said the plan was developed in connection with the anticipated regulatory approval and closing of PNC’s pending acquisition of BBVA USA Bancshares.

PNC Chairman and CEO William Demchak said the plan matches the mission of the company.

“As a Main Street bank, we believe that our success will be proportional to the prosperity we help create for our stakeholders,” he said. “This plan reflects that belief and builds on our longstanding commitment to provide economic opportunity for all individuals and communities we serve, as reflected in PNC Bank’s and BBVA USA’s overall ‘Outstanding’ Community Reinvestment Act ratings in each of our organizations’ most recent evaluations.”

PNC Bank has consistently earned an “Outstanding” CRA rating in every performance evaluation issued since enactment of the CRA more than 40 years ago.

The Community Benefits Plan was developed by PNC, in consultation with BBVA USA, and was informed by numerous community listening sessions that PNC held with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. This included representatives from more than 150 NCRC member organizations from across the combined PNC and BBVA USA footprint.

PNC also held listening sessions with the National Diversity Coalition, the Greenlining Coalition, the California Reinvestment Coalition, Faith and Community Empowerment, and members of their respective organizations.

Jesse Van Tol, the CEO of the NCRC, praised the program.

“We appreciate the leadership and commitment of PNC Bank to collaborate with us and our members to develop the largest-to-date community benefits plan,” he said. “This plan is a significant commitment by one of the largest banks in the nation to increase investments, services and loans for low- and moderate-income communities and neighborhoods of color.

“It’s rewarding and makes me hopeful when institutions and communities can come together like this to make a meaningful commitment that’s intended to have a lasting impact on lives, families and neighborhoods.”

PNC’s regional president and community development banking teams will serve as key points of engagement in their local communities for identifying impactful local community development initiatives and acting as liaisons with local organizations. PNC will extend this model to the new markets it enters through its pending acquisition of BBVA USA.

Richard Bynum, chief corporate responsibility officer for PNC, said collaboration was a key.

“As we consulted with numerous groups across the country, we learned the concerns that are top of mind to our communities: focusing on homeownership as a foundation of wealth creation for current and future generations; finding solutions to help the unbanked and underbanked who have suffered disproportionately during this pandemic; and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing access to capital and credit on par with the access enjoyed by more affluent segments of our society,” he said.

“We believe that our strategic focus on fostering economic empowerment, education and entrepreneurism in traditionally underserved populations and communities truly reflects the concerns of our communities and addresses each of these areas.”

Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, the executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action — which is a member of the NCRC — praised the program and PNC’s continued growth.

“PNC Bank has been a valued partner of New Jersey Citizen Action for over 25 years,” she said. “We believe that, as banks get bigger, they have an obligation to get better. We are confident that the new bank will continue to have a positive impact on lending, service provision and investment in New Jersey’s low- and moderate-income communities.

“For this reason, we support this merger and look forward to working with what will become one of the largest national banks in the country.”