Aim of public comment period is to help distinguish institutions with high level of service to Minority populations.
The Treasury Department's CDFI program is seeking public comment on the criteria it should use to designate a financial institution as a Minority Lending Institution (MLI).
CDFI Fund officials said that while there is no federal funding that will be attached to the designation, CDFIs might wish to be recognized for their high level of service and accountability to Minority populations.
As part of that recognition, a list of designated MLIs will be posted on the CDFI Fund website.
What the CDFI Fund Is Asking
In attempting to define an MLI, the CDFI Fund is posing several questions, including:
–Is a rolling 36-month period the appropriate length of time to assess an applicant’s track record of serving Minorities or Majority-Minority Census Tracts for the purposes of designating a CDFI as an MLI?
–Should the CDFI Fund assess financial products delivered to legal entities that are not owned by Minority individuals but that will help Minority individuals? (Fund officials cited affordable housing, child-care centers, charter schools or health centers as examples of such projects.)
–Should the CDFI Fund judge non-Minority Depository Institutions that are seeking MLI status based on Minority representation on a governing or advisory board?
–Should a majority of a CDFI’s governing board be required to be members of Minority populations to demonstrate accountability to Minority populations?
Comments on those issues are due by November 25.
Award Program Won’t Be Impacted
Fund officials noted that any criteria that is developed for Minority Lending Institutions will play no role in award determinations made under the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program.