M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB) has received an “Outstanding” Community Reinvestment Act rating from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, representing the highest possible rating of how well the bank meets the credit needs of its communities.
M&T has earned the highest rating awarded by the Federal Reserve Bank on each of its period CRA exams since 1982, with the 2018 rating reflecting M&T’s community development performance through August 31, 2014, and mortgage and small business lending performance through December 31, 2013.
Major factors of the bank’s performance cited by the Federal Reserve include:
- The bank is a leader in making community development loans and in providing community development services;
- M&T provides an excellent level of qualified community development investments and grants, particularly those not routinely provided by private investors, and is often in a leadership position;
- Delivery systems are readily accessible to the bank’s geographies and individuals of different income levels in its assessment areas; and
- Lending levels reflect good responsiveness to the assessment area’s credit needs.
- The exam highlighted 511 community development loans made by M&T over a period of 26 months for a total of more than $3.2 billion.
“We’re proud of this achievement, which is a direct result of our culture at M&T – a culture centered on ensuring that all parts of the communities we serve do well,” said Rene Jones, M&T Bank Chairman and CEO. “This consistent performance reflects the dedication of our nearly 17,000 colleagues who work every day to build strong relationships with valued partners for the benefit of all of our neighbors.”
M&T’s community reinvestment lending is part of an overall commitment to community involvement and volunteerism, with initiatives such as:
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M&T offers the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s “First Home Club” program to provide down payment and/or closing cost assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers who reside in, and are looking to purchase a home in New York or New Jersey. The matched savings program provides a 3- to 1- match up to $7,500, to be applied towards a home down payment and closing costs. During the review period, M&T enrolled almost 1,800 clients in the First Home Club and closed loans for 650 new low-to-moderate income first-time homebuyers.
On an annual basis, for the past 31 years, the M&T Charitable Foundation has invested an average of 2.15% of the company’s annual net income in our communities. This investment supports a diverse range of civic, cultural, health and human services organizations that are working to strengthen M&T communities.
M&T employees actively strive to make their communities better places in which to live and work. In 2017, M&T employees volunteered more than 370,000 hours for more than 4,700 not-for-profit organizations across the company’s footprint.
M&T supports community volunteerism by granting all employees 40 hours of paid time each year to participate in volunteer and/or employee resource group activities of their choice.
M&T is an active participant in the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s (FHLB) Affordable Housing Program (AHP). During the review period, M&T was successful in securing commitments for 24 new Affordable Housing Grant applications realizing $11.7 million in grant funds. These projects created 1,179 units of affordable housing.
M&T is the number one SBA lender in most of the large communities in which the bank operates, and a top 10 SBA lender nationally.
“Meeting the needs of our community is a responsibility that we take very seriously,” said Brad Dossinger, M&T Bank corporate CRA officer. “We continue to broaden our investments in programs that support financial education, affordable housing, small business development and other community development initiatives. We strive to ensure the vitality of the communities we serve across our footprint.”
The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was enacted by Congress to encourage financial institutions to meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, especially low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
The CRA exam measures a number of factors, including the depth of a bank’s community development lending, the distribution of small business and home mortgage loans in communities served by the bank, the availability of bank branches and services in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and the bank’s commitment to offering “community development services.”
The exam recognized M&T as a leader in community development services, including sponsoring and participating in a significant number of seminars and presentations relating to affordable mortgages, small business assistance, and other banking education throughout its geographic areas. M&T provided financial or volunteer assistance for 4,489 events, such as financial literacy seminars and mortgage education programs, during the assessment period.
The 2018 rating issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reflects M&T’s community reinvestment performance through August 2014. Federal regulators spend months reviewing the bank’s lending, service and investment data to determine the rating.