Investing in our communities, one deal at a time

By Candace Higginbotham

Northampton, MA –News Direct– Bank of Regions

David Christian from Regions and Darrin Williams from Southern Bancorp

“What a great start to 2022!”

David Christian, Head of Community Development Loans and Investments and Chief Operating Officer of the Regions Community Development Corporation, expresses well-deserved excitement about the momentum his team is already experiencing this year.

Regions Community Development Corporation, or RCDC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Regions Bank that supports underserved communities with limited access to traditional sources of capital by providing debt and equity financing for projects and entities for purposes community development. The company launched in late 2020 and has made significant progress in its commitment to creating inclusive prosperity in the communities served by Regions Bank.

RCDC recently announced a $2 million equity investment in Optus Bank. And now, RCDC has entered into three additional equity investment deals in the first month of 2022. The first is a $1 million investment in Southern Bancorp, a community development financial institution (CDFI) and a utility based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. CDFIs are private financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to providing responsible and affordable lending to help low-income, low-income, and other disadvantaged individuals and communities.

This capital investment from RCDC provides capital to enable Southern Bancorp to pursue its mission “to create economic opportunity in rural and underserved communities by providing responsible and responsive financial products and services that balance profit with purpose.” The investment will also generate a return for the RCDC in the form of dividends.

“Southern Bancorp serves an area that includes Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest regions in America,” said Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp. “Our 51 locations are located in many communities considered ‘banking deserts,’ where predatory payday lenders and other high-cost financial options are often more visible than banks, and our goal is to provide families who there live responsible alternatives adapted to the creation of wealth.

“Investment from the regions will allow us to put more emphasis on housing, jobs and savings – which we know are key drivers in lifting people out of poverty,” Williams said.

Another key RCDC investment in recent weeks is with the Texas Mezzanine Fund, a Dallas-based CDFI that works to increase the number of minority-owned businesses, as well as business rehabilitation and expansion. existing, in distressed and underserved communities across Texas.

“Minority-owned small businesses are vital parts of our local economies, and access to capital is a real challenge,” said Leroy Abrahams, community affairs manager at Regions Bank. “I am thrilled that the $800,000 equity investment in the Texas Mezzanine Fund will help this organization drive business growth and employment and promote inclusive prosperity in this important regional market. »

The third deal in January for Christian and the team is with Carver Financial Corporation, a small community bank in Savannah, Georgia. Carver Financial is a CDFI, as well as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI), which is a federally insured depository institution in which 51% or more of the voting stock is owned by minority individuals ; or a majority of the board of directors is a minority and the community that the establishment serves is a majority minority.

This $1 million capital investment from RCDC will help Carver Financial in its efforts to support low and moderate income, or LMI, communities.

“Carver Financial’s investment is very important to RCDC,” said Christian. “The regions have a strong commitment to collaboration and investment in CDFIs and MDIs, and these relationships contribute to our shared goals of empowering communities of color and closing the racial wealth gap.”

Although the RCDC has had a good start to the year, work has certainly not slowed down. Many more transactions are underway and Christian and the team look forward to sharing progress as they continue this important work of revitalizing communities and improving lives across the region’s footprint.

More information about RCDC is available in the Community Engagement section of

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Norma P. Rex