Readout of Janet Yellen and Wally Adeyemo’s
meeting with CDFI and MDI CEOs
Treasury Secretary-designate Janet Yellen and Deputy Treasury Secretary-designate Wally Adeyemo met with a group of Presidents and CEOs representing local, regional and national Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) on the front lines of the economic crisis in urban, rural and tribal communities across the country on Monday.
Dr. Yellen opened the conversation by acknowledging the important role of CDFIs and MDIs in the U.S. economy, in delivering banking and lending services to low-income communities, communities of color and other unbanked and under-banked constituencies. Noting the $9 billion in funding for a new Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) to provide low-cost, long-term capital for CDFIs and MDIs as well as the additional $3 billion investment in the CDFI Fund included in the COVID relief package moving through Congress, Dr. Yellen pledged to work with these specialized lenders to ensure that those funds are deployed efficiently and effectively to low- and moderate-income and minority communities that need it most.
Dr. Yellen and Mr. Adeyemo pledged their commitment to increasing CDFIs and MDIs’ small business lending capacity – including capital and technical capacity – so they can continue to expand and grow, and deliver support to those hardest-hit by this crisis, and lift up communities that have been denied access to mainstream banking and lending services.
The leaders thanked Dr. Yellen for raising concerns about income inequality and economic mobility during her tenure at the Federal Reserve, and echoed Dr. Yellen and Mr. Adeyemo’s desire to build stronger public-private partnerships to tackle the threat posed by economic inequality and the racial wealth gap.
Executive leaders from the following CDFIs and MDIs participated in Monday’s call:
- Lisa Mensah, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN)
- Frank Altman, Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF)
- Brian Argrett, City First Bank
- Betsy Biemann, Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI)
- Marla Bilonick, Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)
- Bill Bynum, Hope Credit Union
- Martin Eakes, Self-Help Credit Union
- Donna Gambrell, Appalachian Community Capital
- Calvin Holmes, Chicago Community Loan Fund
- Jim King, Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE)
- Jessie Lee, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation
- Inez Long, Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF)
- Joe Neri, IFF
- Pete Upton, Native 360 Loan Fund
- Luz Urrutia, Opportunity Fund
- Darren Williams, Southern Bancorp