Illinois Treasurer adopts community reinvestment policy for state depositories

May 5, 2009 - 2:53pm

Woodstock Institute joined Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
and the Community Reinvestment
Organizing Project in announcing the adoption of the state’s Commitment
to Community Reinvestment Policy.  The policy requires all
state depositories to certify that they provide access to mortgages, financial
services and small business lending throughout their service area, including
low-wealth communities.

The policy is the culmination of a 15-month organizing effort of the Community Reinvestment Organizing Project, convened by the Monroe Foundation.  The adoption of the Commitment to Community Reinvestment makes explicit the practices that are unacceptable in this state.  It also makes explicit the Illinois State Treasurer’s community reinvestment expectations for each and every bank receiving state funds. 

Woodstock Institute believes that community reinvestment commitments are the linchpins of access to capital and financial services.  The Illinois Community Investment Coalition, which Woodstock Institute convenes, has pushed financial institutions to set measurable goals for lending and basic transaction accounts, including landmark agreements with JP Morgan Chase, Charter One, and most recently, a commitment from Bank of America to maintain the strong community reinvestment presence of LaSalle Bank, which it acquired in 2007.

During a national debate on the community obligations of financial institutions, it is reassuring that Illinois’ Treasurer is taking this important step to hold financial institutions accountable.