Magazine article American Banker

Mellon's Maryland Unit Goes Extra Mile in Stressing Community Reinvestment

Magazine article American Banker

Mellon's Maryland Unit Goes Extra Mile in Stressing Community Reinvestment

Article excerpt

There's no magic formula for getting an outstanding Community Reinvestment Act rating from your regulator, but here's how one bank managed it.

In addition to making loans in the community, which is de rigueur under CRA, Mellon Bank (MD) in Rockville, Md., one of three subsidiaries of the Pittsburgh holding company, also conducted a series of financial seminars for community nonprofit groups on such topics as fund-raising and collaborating with other organizations to raise money. For at least one attendee, the seminars have been invaluable.

"I love 'em," said Karen S. Montgomery, a fund-raiser for Olney Theatre Corp., a local nonprofit equity theater. Because Mellon Bank subsidizes the costs, the price of admission is one-fifth that of other seminars, she said.

|Teach Someone to Fish'

"Another bank gave us $12,500, and that's all," said Ms. Montgomery. "Mellon Bank didn't give as much but helped us raise $2 million. Teach someone to fish, and he can feed himself."

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond gave Mellon Bank's community reinvestment efforts its highest rating in January 1992, as it had in 1990.

Mellon Bank Corp.'s training for afl its employees, from mail clerks to senior managers, touches on CRA, said Margaret M. Cromelin, vice president for marketing and community affairs.

Lower-level employees are told of the bank's commitment to its communities, while lenders receive "more detailed training in ways to assess the borrowing needs of low- to moderate-income residents in our area," said Ms. …

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