Wolters Kluwer Compliance Solutions today named both Citizens National Bank of Meridian, Miss. and Boston-based Eastern Bank as winners of its 2018 Community Impact Award. The award honors financial institutions for the breadth of their positive impact to low- and moderate-income communities, and their innovative application of community development programs where they do business.
The announcement was made at the company’s 22nd annual CRA & Fair Lending Colloquium, held in Hollywood, Fla. The Colloquium brings together federal regulators, attorneys, bank compliance officers and other industry experts to share their insights on navigating complex regulatory and risk management issues facing financial institutions today.
Citizens National Bank won for its Power of Local Community Development Program, which helps the unbanked and underserved in their community to establish credit, improve credit scores, and secure affordable home loans. Thus far in 2018, Citizens National Bank has invested nearly 200 hours in one-on-one credit counseling sessions and financial education workshops, provided small loans to more than 500 individuals looking to build their credit scores, and originated 28 home loans to applicants who were either seeking to purchase property in a distressed or underserved census tract, or whose annual household income fell within the low- to moderate-income range, based on HUD guidelines.
“While many of the communities we serve are among the poorest in the country, our vision is to assist our customers in creating a personal financial plan that enables them to achieve their dreams,” said J. Scott Sills, Chief Marketing Officer at Citizens National Bank. “We are passionate about serving others, and what better way than to give a helping hand to those who need it the most.”
Eastern Bank won for its Business Equity Initiative program, which aims to lessen the wealth and income inequality in the Boston area by helping to accelerate the growth of minority-owned businesses and increase job opportunities and wealth creation in surrounding neighborhoods. The initiative builds an ecosystem that leverages Eastern’s networks and philanthropic dollars while providing local enterprises of color with specifically designed growth tools including trusted strategic advisors, operational support, growth capital and expanded access to supplier and corporate procurement opportunities.
“We created the Business Equity Initiative to address wealth disparities in our communities,” said Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director of the Business Equity Initiative. “By focusing on greater job opportunities and wealth creation in our neighborhoods, we are developing an ecosystem with lasting impact and are honored by the recognition of our efforts.”
“These two institutions are evidence that banks can positively impact the communities where they operate in very meaningful ways,” said Timothy R. Burniston, Senior Advisor and Principal Regulatory Strategist at Wolters Kluwer. “We are honored to recognize their commitment and caring toward those they serve.”
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