June 18, 2008

Federal Reserve announces launch of national minority-owned bank program

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve System today announced the nationwide launch of Partnership for Progress, an innovative outreach and technical assistance program for minority-owned and de novo institutions.  The program seeks to help these institutions confront their unique challenges, cultivate safe and sound practices, and compete more effectively in today's marketplace through a combination of one-on-one guidance, workshops, and an extensive interactive web-based resource and information center (http://www.fedpartnership.gov/).

"The program's overarching mission is to preserve and promote minority-owned institutions and to enhance their vital role in providing access to credit and financial services in communities that have been historically underserved," said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. "The Federal Reserve is committed to helping minority-owned and de novo banks achieve long-term success."

Partnership for Progress provides insight on key issues in three distinct stages of a bank's life cycle: "Start a Bank," "Manage Transition," and "Grow Shareholder Value." Topics covered include credit and interest rate risk, capital and liquidity, and banking regulations. To ensure broad access to the program, all aspects of the training will be available through workshops, online courses, and the program's interactive website.

"This cutting-edge program, which draws on insights from economics, accounting, finance, and regulatory compliance, will become a valuable resource for institutions at different stages of their development," said Federal Reserve Board Governor Randall S. Kroszner.

In developing the program, Federal Reserve officials met with minority-owned and de novo banks across the country as well as trade groups, bank consultants, and state and federal banking agencies to better understand the challenges these institutions face in raising capital, growing their institutions, and attracting talent. This process provided valuable insight and contributed significantly to the design of the program, which was spearheaded by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Key concepts from the program will be incorporated into the Federal Reserve System's examiner training to provide a deeper understanding of the issues unique to minority-owned institutions.

The nationwide launch of Partnership for Progress follows a successful pilot for the program that began last fall. Questions and comments regarding the program should be directed to Marilyn Wimp at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 215-574-4197.

Last Update: June 18, 2008