Community Groups Announce Agreement with Midland States Bank that Increases Access to Financial Services for Minority Communities
For Immediate Release
October 2, 2014
St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA), a coalition of non-profit and community organizations, announced today an agreement with Midland States Bank that includes a $16.6 million commitment that will increase access to home mortgage products and financial services for minority communities in St. Louis and other parts of Illinois. Additionally, the bank agreed to open two full-service bank branches and a loan production office in predominantly minority neighborhoods.
SLEHCRA, along with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and the Woodstock Institute, challenged Midland States Bank’s application to acquire Heartland Bank based on concerns with the bank’s service to minority borrowers and communities in mortgage lending and location of branches. A SLEHCRA member organization filed a fair housing complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity over the concerns. The agreement with Midland States Bank announced today resolves the fair housing complaint and demonstrates a significant commitment to serve minority communities throughout the bank’s footprint.
This commitment represents the ongoing efforts of SLEHCRA members and other partners to increase investment in low-income communities and in minority communities. SLEHCRA recognizes Midland States Bank’s efforts to expand access to quality home mortgage products, financial services, branch locations, and financial education for all people in our community.
As part of the Agreement, Midland States Bank agrees to the following commitments over the next three years:
- Opening of two new full-service bank branches and a loan production office in predominantly minority communities in St. Louis and in Joliet, Illinois.
- Nearly $1 million in direct assistance to borrowers in minority communities for home purchase, home refinance, or home repair loans through subsidies or discounts to qualified borrowers.
- A $15 million commitment in home purchase, refinance, home repair, and multifamily lending in predominantly minority communities.
- Commitments for affirmative marketing in African American and Hispanic communities, financial education, and community reinvestment training for the public and community organizations.
- The creation of a Corporate Community Development Plan with the consultation of community groups, including SLEHCRA, NCRC and the Woodstock Institute, that will guide long-term community development practices throughout the bank’s service areas.