Following months of discussions, SLEHCRA and Paramount Bank have reached a Community Benefits Agreement. These meetings and discussions followed SLEHCRA’s concerns that Paramount Bank was not properly servicing the low-to-moderate and majority-Black areas surrounding their retail banking location in Hazelwood. Our review of their data showed that they were lagging their market peers in lending to LMI and majority-minority communities in their service area, which prompted the coalition to share our concerns with the FDIC. SLEHCRA and Paramount leaders discussed the bank’s publicly available lending data, why our coalition members were concerned with their performance, and ways in which Paramount Bank could better serve the community it calls home. Our conversations with the lender were respectful and productive, which has led to a signed CBA that all parties believe will help them better serve the community.
As a result of these conversations, Paramount has made numerous commitments to community leaders. These include:
- Paramount Bank has committed to increasing their mortgage lending in LMI areas to at least the level of their peers in the market.
- Paramount Bank has additionally agreed to increase lending to Black borrowers by matching their market peers in applications and originations to Black customers and in majority-Black census tracts.
- Paramount Bank will bring new products to market that are tailored to work in LMI and majority-minority areas. This will include specialized mortgage products and programs to help potential homebuyers with closing cost subsidies and other considerations for needs of borrowers in these communities.
- Paramount Bank has agreed to the formation of a community advisory committee, which will include civic, business and nonprofit leaders that live and work in the communities around the bank’s north St. Louis County retail location.
- The bank has also agreed to targeted goals for minority representation in its senior leadership and that staffing at the Hazelwood, MO location would represent the community in which it is located.
The bank has additionally made commitments to increase community engagement and collaboration with local nonprofit community organizations, maintain their Hazelwood location for the life of the agreement, and numerous other items. The CBA can be viewed at this link. We applaud the lender’s leadership team for their renewed commitment to serving the communities in north St. Louis County. Over the life of the agreement, SLEHCRA will continue to meet with the Paramount Bank and discuss progress towards the commitments outlined in the CBA.