12 CFR § 225.127 - Investment in corporations or projects designed primarily to promote community welfare.
(a) Under § 225.28(b)(12) of Regulation Y, a bank holding company may, in accordance with the provisions of § 225.23 or § 225.24, engage in “making equity and debt investments in corporations or projects designed primarily to promote community welfare, such as the economic rehabilitation and development of low-income areas.” The Board included that activity among those the Board has determined to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as be a proper incident thereto, in order to permit bank holding companies to fulfill their civic responsibilities. As indicated hereinafter in this interpretation, the Board intends § 225.28(b)(12) to enable bank holding companies to take an active role in the quest for solutions to the Nation's social problems. Although the interpretation primarily focuses on low- and moderate-income housing, it is not intended to limit projects under § 225.28(b)(12) to that area. Other investments primarily designed to promote community welfare are considered permissible, but have not been defined in order to provide bank holding companies flexibility in approaching community problems. For example, bank holding companies may utilize this flexibility to provide new and creative approaches to the promotion of employment opportunities for low-income persons. Bank holding companies possess a unique combination of financial and managerial resources making them particularly suited for a meaningful and substantial role in remedying our social ills. Section 225.28(b)(12) is intended to provide an opportunity for them to assume such a role.
(b) Under the authority of § 225.28(b)(12), a bank holding company may invest in community development corporations established pursuant to Federal or State law. A bank holding company may also participate in other civic projects, such as a municipal parking facility sponsored by a local civic organization as a means to promote greater public use of the community's facilities.
(c) Within the category of permissible investments under § 225.28(b)(12) are investments in projects to construct or rehabilitate multifamily low- or moderate-income housing with respect to which a mortgage is insured under section 221(d)(3), 221(d)(4), or 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1701) and investments in projects to construct or rehabilitate low- or moderate-income housing which is financed or assisted by direct loan, tax abatement, or insurance under provisions of State or local law, similar to the aforementioned Federal programs, provided that, with respect to all such projects the owner is, by statute, regulation, or regulatory authority, limited as to the rate of return on his investment in the project, as to rentals or occupancy charges for units in the project, and in such other respects as would be a “limited dividend corporation” (as defined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development).
(d) Investments in other projects that may be considered to be designed primarily to promote community welfare include but are not limited to: (1) Projects for the construction or rehabilitation of housing for the benefit of persons of low- or moderate-income, (2) projects for the construction or rehabilitation of ancillary local commercial facilities necessary to provide goods or services principally to persons residing in low- or moderate-income housing, and (3) projects designed explicitly to create improved job opportunities for low- or moderate-income groups (for example, minority equity investments, on a temporary basis, in small or medium-sized locally-controlled businesses in low-income urban or other economically depressed areas). In the case of de novo projects, the copy of the notice with respect to such other projects which is to be furnished to Reserve Banks in accordance with the provisions of § 225.23 or § 225.24 should be accompanied by a memorandum which demonstrates that such projects meet the objectives of § 225.28(b)(12).
(e) Investments in corporations or projects organized to build or rehabilitate high-income housing, or commercial, office, or industrial facilities that are not designed explicitly to create improved job opportunities for low-income persons shall be presumed not to be designed primarily to promote community welfare, unless there is substantial evidence to the contrary, even though to some extent the investment may benefit the community.
(f) Section 6 of the Depository Institutions Disaster Relief Act of 1992 permits state member banks (12 U.S.C. 338a) and national banks (12 U.S.C. 24 (Eleventh)) to invest in the stock of community development corporations that are designed primarily to promote the public welfare of low- and moderate-income communities and persons in the areas of housing, services and employment. The Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have adopted rules that permit state member banks and national banks to make certain investments without prior approval. The Board believes that these rules are consistent with the Board's interpretation of, and decisions regarding, the scope of community welfare activities permissible for bank holding companies. Accordingly, approval received by a bank holding company to conduct activities designed to promote the community welfare under section 4(c)(8) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843(c)(8)) and § 225.28(b)(12) of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.28(b)(12)) includes approval to engage, either directly or through a subsidiary, in the following activities, up to five percent of the bank holding company's total consolidated capital stock and surplus, without additional Board or Reserve Bank approval:
(1) Invest in and provide financing to a corporation or project or class of corporations or projects that the Board previously has determined is a public welfare project pursuant to paragraph 23 of section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 338a);
(2) Invest in and provide financing to a corporation or project that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency previously has determined, by order or regulation, is a public welfare investment pursuant to section 5136 of the Revised Statutes (12 U.S.C. 24 (Eleventh));
(3) Invest in and provide financing to a community development financial institution pursuant to section 103(5) of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994 (12 U.S.C. 4702(5));
(4) Invest in, provide financing to, develop, rehabilitate, manage, sell, and rent residential property if a majority of the units will be occupied by low- and moderate-income persons or if the property is a “qualified low-income building” as defined in section 42(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 42(c)(2));
(5) Invest in, provide financing to, develop, rehabilitate, manage, sell, and rent nonresidential real property or other assets located in a low- or moderate-income area provided the property is used primarily for low- and moderate-income persons;
(6) Invest in and provide financing to one or more small businesses located in a low- or moderate-income area to stimulate economic development;
(7) Invest in, provide financing to, develop, and otherwise assist job training or placement facilities or programs designed primarily for low- and moderate-income persons;
(8) Invest in and provide financing to an entity located in a low- or moderate-income area if that entity creates long-term employment opportunities, a majority of which (based on full time equivalent positions) will be held by low- and moderate-income persons; and
(9) Provide technical assistance, credit counseling, research, and program development assistance to low- and moderate-income persons, small businesses, or nonprofit corporations to help achieve community development.
(g) For purposes of paragraph (f) of this section, low- and moderate-income persons or areas means individuals and communities whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the median income of the area involved, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Small businesses are businesses that are smaller than the maximum size eligibility standards established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the Small Business Investment Company and Development Company Programs or the SBA section 7A loan program; and specifically include those businesses that are majority-owned by members of minority groups or by women.
(h) For purposes of paragraph (f) of this section, five percent of the total consolidated capital stock and surplus of a bank holding company includes its total investment in projects described in paragraph (f) of this section, when aggregated with similar types of investments made by depository institutions controlled by the bank holding company. The term total consolidated capital stock and surplus of the bank holding company means total equity capital and the allowance for loan and lease losses or adjusted allowance for credit losses, as applicable, based on the bank holding company's most recent FR Y-9C (Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies) or FR Y-9SP (Parent Company Only Financial Statements for Small Holding Companies).