City National Bank Launches National Lending Initiative to Support Entrepreneurs and Potential Homebuyers in Underserved Communities

New Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) will help entrepreneurs and potential homebuyers access capital

Jan 11, 2023

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK — City National Bank announced today that it will launch an expansive new lending initiative in underserved communities nationwide.

City National has a strong history of supporting and lending to small businesses, dating back to its founding by a group of entrepreneurs who didn’t have access to capital in 1950s Los Angeles. The bank was founded with a focus on serving businesses, entrepreneurs and those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Today, City National is one of the top lenders in the country for Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans, which help small businesses purchase and refinance their own buildings. The bank also added a focus in 2022 on SBA 7(a) loans, which help small businesses access short- and long-term working capital, purchase equipment, or finance business acquisitions, partner buyouts or owner-occupied real estate.

In the coming months, City National will be expanding its product set and launching Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) for both commercial loans and residential mortgage loans to underserved populations:

  • City National will offer a small-business lending program aimed at assisting underserved business owners in operating and growing their businesses, which aligns with the bank’s strong history as a commercial lender.
    • The features of the program will be informed by community engagement initiatives that City National is undertaking to understand the needs of underserved business owners.
    • Starting first in the Los Angeles metro area in 2023, where the bank is headquartered, the bank plans to then expand the program to other communities it serves.

  • In view of its commercial business focus, residential mortgage lending has not historically been a focal point for City National. However, the bank will be devoting increased resources to this area going forward in order to serve the broader needs of its clients and communities in areas that will include California, Georgia, New York, Nevada, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C.

“At City National, supporting our communities is core to who we are as an organization,” said Kelly Coffey, CEO of City National. “We take very seriously our obligation to ensure that all businesses and consumers have an equal opportunity to apply for and obtain credit. We believe City National has a role to play in supporting entrepreneurs and expanding access to homeownership in order to help individuals and communities thrive and build intergenerational wealth.”

This initiative follows the bank’s announcement last fall about the launch of its new community lending team and hire of Vanessa Montañez to the newly created role of Community Lending National Sales Manager. This team is focused on strategies and programs, including community outreach and financial education, to expand mortgage lending to historically underserved borrowers.

Focused on improving access to homeownership in all the communities it serves, City National averages $20 million to $30 million annually in community development loans, which directly support affordable housing. In addition, since 1996, City National has participated in the Affordable Housing Program (AHP), a grant program that provides gap financing for owner-occupied and multifamily affordable housing projects. The bank has sponsored more than 100 successful applications totaling $77.4 million, which has rehabilitated or created more than 7,000 affordable housing units in our communities.

City National has been supporting the construction and maintenance of affordable rental housing for over 20 years through investments in LIHTC (low-income housing tax credits). The bank has invested over half a billion dollars to date and impacted thousands of units.

The bank’s philanthropic efforts and culture underscore these commitments. In 2022, City National invested more than $11 million in organizations focused on affordable housing, financial education, racial justice and economic development. It also renewed last year its $1 million, three-year commitment to financial education for students in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools in underserved communities.

Bank colleagues are dedicated to supporting their communities as well and have contributed more than $1 million annually in charitable donations in each of the past 11 years through its Workplace Giving Campaign. In 2022, colleagues contributed more than $1.7 million. City National colleagues also give their time and devoted more than 23,000 hours to volunteer work in the 2022 fiscal year.

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