Photo by James Sanna | Banker & Tradesman Staff

As part of its acquisition of Boston Private, the parent of Silicon Valley Bank has proposed a five-year, $11.2 billion community benefits plan that was developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) and Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC).

The plan will also include investments in the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s mortgage programs.

SVB Financial Group said in a statement that the community benefits plan builds on the bank’s longstanding commitment to help small businesses, finance affordable housing, reinvest in low- and moderate-income communities and support “the greater good through philanthropy and volunteering.”

In addition to MAHA and MACDC, the California Reinvestment Coalition and the California-based Greenlining Institute also collaborated with SVB on the plan. The plan is based on anticipated growth from SVB’s pending acquisition of Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc., according to the statement.

Announced in January, the acquisition is expected to close in mid-2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Boston Private shareholders approved the merger earlier this month.

SVB said that the $11.2 billion commitment would cover a five-year period from January 2022 through December 2026 and focus on providing financial support to LMI communities in California and Massachusetts, including:

  • $5 billion in small business loans of $1 million or less;
  • $4.8 billion in Community Reinvestment Act community development loans and investments;
  • $1.3 billion in residential mortgages to LMI borrowers and in LMI census tracts;
  • $75 million in charitable contributions.

As part of its residential mortgage lending commitment, SVB said it would expand its participation in the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s ONE Mortgage and the City of Boston’s ONE+Boston first-time homebuyer mortgage programs. SVB said it would also commit to the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund.

“For 25 years, Boston Private Bank & Trust has been a Community Reinvestment Act leader here in Massachusetts,” Symone Crawford, MAHA’s Director of Homeownership Education, said in the statement. “We applaud SVB for making this commitment to low-to moderate-income communities and households in greater Boston and bringing new resources to assist first-time homebuyers, small businesses and nonprofits. If we are to narrow the racial homeownership gap, we need financial institutions to do more in programs like ONE Mortgage and ONE+Boston and SVB is committing to do just that.”

As part of the proposed community benefits plan, SVB said it would also create a community advisory council and meet with representatives from the CRC, The Greenlining Institute, MAHA and MACDC to review progress toward the plan’s goals.

Silicon Valley Bank has a strategic plan to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act. After completing the acquisition of Boston Private, Silicon Valley Bank plans to amend its CRA strategy Plan to include updated goals in California and new assessment areas for the Greater Boston and Los Angeles regions.

SVB said it also plans to adopt a corporate supplier diversity program with a goal of contracting at least 8 percent of its corporate supplier spending annually by 2026 to locally-based businesses owned or led by members of historically underserved communities, including people of color and women.

“As a leader in the innovation economy, we strive to use our voice and influence to help shape a better future and contribute to progress in our communities,” Greg Becker, president and CEO of SVB Financial Group, said in the statement. “This proposed community benefits plan aligns with our long-held commitment to significantly contribute to our communities’ well-being.  The growth of our business gives us the ability to step up more aggressively.  We are intent on making a lasting impact and welcome the support of our community partners in developing this plan.”

Boston Private, SVB Merger to Come with $11.2B Community Plan

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min