Home Farm & Economy Business & Corporate Simmons Bank hires industry veteran to lead Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) planning

Simmons Bank hires industry veteran to lead Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) planning

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Photo credit, Dawnella Hopper

Arkansas Delta Information – Aug. 27, 2022 – Simmons Bank recently announced the addition of veteran banker Maurice Butler as senior vice president and director of community development.  Butler will oversee the delivery of the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) plan that encompasses community affairs and the development of financial products and solutions designed to support the needs of low-and moderate-income communities.

In addition, Butler will oversee the bank’s community affairs office, a team focused on aiding underserved and emerging communities across the bank’s six-state footprint. In this role, he will work closely with Martie North, Simmons’ senior vice president of community, impact and CRA strategy, based in Little Rock.

“Maurice has a wealth of experience in the banking industry,” said Joe DiNicolantonio, executive vice president and head of Simmons Bank’s consumer and business banking. “His connections to the region, paired with his track record, make him an exciting addition to the Simmons’ team. We look forward to Maurice taking the lead and connecting communities to the products and services offered by Simmons Bank.”

An industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry, Butler most recently served as the senior VP and market manager of West Tennessee for a regional bank in Tennessee. Butler received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is a graduate of the Consumer Banking Association Executive Bank School at Furman University in South Carolina. He also completed the Management Development Program for Executive Education at Georgia State University.

Under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA), the U.S. Treasury Department encourages certain banks and other insured depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they are chartered, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods.

Earlier this year on May 5, the Treasury Department’s Office f the Comptroller of the Current (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) jointly released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to strengthen and modernize CRA regulations to achieve the purpose of the 45-year-old law better.  The Federal Register comment period to review the proposed rule and provide comments ended on Aug. 5.

Simmons Bank’s CRA efforts focus on affordable housing, economic development and community service – each with the goal of providing greater access to financial products and services for low-to-moderate-income families, according to the company’s annual report.

Between 2018-2021, Simmons Bank contributed more than $2 million toward CRA charitable giving and performed nearly 3,250 community engagement activities with approximately 1,500 directed to support financial education. Another 6,705 loans benefiting businesses with less than $1 million in revenue totaling approximately $460 million.

In 2021, in partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Simmons Bank announced the signing of a lease agreement to establish a new full-service bank branch on the first floor at the ULSTL headquarters. The collaboration to establish an onsite branch is the first of its kind between a nonprofit and Simmons Bank.

In December, Simmons Bank also opened a branch located at West Illinois Avenue in Dallas, Texas to provide greater access to financial products and services to the low-to-moderate-income community. Simmons Bank also offers various products to assist low- to moderate-income families with their financial needs.

Based in Little Rock, Simmons Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of parent company Simmons First National Corp., the Pine Bluff-based, publicly traded regional banking group with operations in six states and total assets of $27.2 billion. In the second quarter for the period ended June 30, the Pine Bluff regional bank reported earnings of $27.5 million on revenue of $225.4 million.

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