WBEZ | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation http://www.wbez.org/tags/federal-deposit-insurance-corporation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Housing groups salute banking giant for rehab deal http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/housing-groups-salute-banking-giant-rehab-deal <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Hartnack_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the nation&rsquo;s largest banks Friday provided details about an agreement with some nonprofit groups in Chicago-area neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. <br /><br />The deal, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates">revealed Wednesday by WBEZ</a>, stems from the collapse of Oak Park-based banking chain FBOP Corp. The company&rsquo;s flagship, Park National Bank, was known for donations and loans in low-income areas. In 2009, federal authorities took over FBOP and sold it to Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp said it couldn&rsquo;t fill Park National&rsquo;s shoes in the community. After protests, though, the banking giant last fall started negotiating with a coalition of nonprofit housing groups. The two sides reached a deal a few weeks ago and kept it quiet until this week.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp is promising $600,000 in interest-free loans this year to buy six foreclosed homes in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood and Maywood, a suburb nearby. Community groups will then renovate them and sell them at cost. If the effort breaks even, U.S. Bancorp will lend another $800,000 next year and $1 million more in 2013, bringing the total to $2.4 million.<br /><br />To celebrate the deal, U.S. Bancorp officials flew in for a gathering outside an Oak Park branch Friday. They included Richard Hartnack, vice-chairman of the company&rsquo;s consumer and small-business banking.<br /><br />Could this agreement be a model for banks and community groups to soften effects of the nation&rsquo;s housing crisis? Or is the deal just a U.S. Bancorp public-relations ploy? We got a chance to ask Hartnack at the celebration and included his responses in this WBEZ segment:<br /><br /><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-89527" href="/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-march/2011-03-04/bank2way110304cm.mp3">bank2way110304cm.mp3</span></p></p> Fri, 04 Mar 2011 20:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/housing-groups-salute-banking-giant-rehab-deal U.S. Bancorp cuts deal with housing advocates http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Virgil_Crawford.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the nation&rsquo;s largest financial firms will fund some nonprofit groups in Chicago-area neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. <br /><br />Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank, has faced pressure from community groups in West Side neighborhoods and nearby suburbs since 2009, when it purchased an Oak Park-based banking chain, FBOP Corp., as part of a federal rescue.<br /><br />FBOP units included Park National Bank, a Chicago-area lender known for charity and investment in low-income areas. U.S. Bancorp said it couldn&rsquo;t fill those shoes, but last fall started negotiating with a cluster of West Side groups called the Coalition to Save Community Banking.<br /><br />Now they&rsquo;ve inked an agreement. U.S. Bancorp will put up $600,000 for rehabbing six foreclosed homes, according to the coalition&rsquo;s Rev. Catherine Palmer. Three of the homes are in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood and three are in Maywood, a suburb nearby.<br /><br />Palmer says U.S. Bancorp will contribute a smaller sum for housing advocacy by the coalition and four other groups: Bethel New Life, Inc.; South Austin Coalition; Westside Health Authority; and Maywood-based Housing Helpers, Inc.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp spokeswoman Lisa Clark confirmed the two sides have struck a deal, but she declined to provide details.<br /><br />John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition in Washington D.C., praises the bank. &ldquo;The fact that it&rsquo;s willing to make some commitments to local organizations to help them do their work is a good sign.&rdquo;<br /><br />But Taylor offers some cautionary advice: &ldquo;The groups need to continue to work together to make sure that the bank is indeed making the loans for mortgages and, for that matter, for small businesses and needs that are in the community.&rdquo;<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp and the coalition are planning to unveil the agreement this Friday.</p></p> Wed, 02 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates