Congressman Al Green Applauds Passage of H.R. 5322 to Strengthen Minority-Owned Banks

Sep 22, 2020 Issues: Financial Services

(Washington, D.C.) – On Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Congressman Al Green released the following statement supporting and commending the September 21, 2020 voice vote passage of H.R. 5322, the Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act, which he proudly cosponsors:               

“Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a tireless advocate and unyielding supporter of diversity and inclusion throughout our nation. This advocacy has led me to craft and cosponsor meaningful legislation to help ensure equity in all aspects of American life, including our country’s financial services industry,” stated Congressman Al Green. “That is why I am honored to serve as lead original cosponsor of H.R. 5322, the Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act, which passed the House of Representatives. I applaud my colleague and friend Representative Meeks for leading this historic legislative effort to deconstruct the barriers minority depository institutions (MDIs) face in their mission of providing financial services to traditionally underserved, underbanked communities.”

Congressman Green added, “MDIs provide opportunities for capital access and financial success that people from diverse backgrounds may not receive from larger, national or international banks. However, in recent years, too many of these trusted institutions -- which often are a vital part of the infrastructure of their communities -- have been forced to close their doors, a trend that is likely to continue if we fail to act to strengthen and protect our MDIs and those they serve.”

“Building on a series of hearings convened to examine the plight of MDIs by the House Financial Services Committee, and by its Subcommittees on Consumer Protection and Financial Institution, chaired by Rep. Meeks, and on Oversight and Investigations, which I proudly chair, H.R. 5322 targets the challenges MDIs have faced historically and continue to confront, even as they now work to survive unprecedented global economic and health crises. Some of these challenges include: regulatory burdens, access to capital, inclusion of women-owned banks in the definition of MDIs, federal government deposits mobilization, and small business lending.”

“Perhaps, most remarkable about this legislation is its creation of the ‘Impact Bank’ designation for banks and credit unions that provide a majority of their loans to low-income communities, which will strengthen MDIs and help them to offer more services to underbanked persons and neighborhoods across our nation.”

Congressman Green concluded, “H.R. 5322 includes several substantive efforts that MDIs require not only to survive the coronavirus pandemic but to remain viable for generations to come. I congratulate Rep. Meeks on its overwhelming passage by the House today and hope to see this important bill pass the Senate and be enacted as law soon.”