ICBA Press Release Banner 2020

Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2021) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and its Minority Bank Advisory Council urged the Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency to reopen negotiations over amendments to the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would limit purchases of certain types of loans.

“Amendments to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements will disproportionately harm low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers, undermine the economic recovery, widen the minority homeownership gap, and disrupt the housing market,” said James Sills, president and CEO of M&F Bank in Durham, N.C., and chairman of ICBA’s coalition of minority-owned depository institutions. “ICBA and the Minority Bank Advisory Council urge the Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency to delay implementation of these purchase agreements and reopen negotiations.”

The amendments to the purchase agreements—which were released without any explanation or opportunity for lenders to clear their loan pipelines—would:

  • Limit Fannie and Freddie purchases of single-family loans with at least two “high-risk” characteristics: loan-to-value ratios above 90%, debt-to-income ratios above 45%, and credit scores below 680.
  • Limit the percentage of investor properties and second homes to 7% of total purchases.

In the joint letter, ICBA and the Minority Bank Advisory Council said the restrictions will:

  • Negatively and disproportionately affect low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers by arbitrarily limiting the types and number of certain loans Fannie and Freddie may purchase.
  • Undermine the goal of closing the homeownership gap among borrowers of color.
  • Unfairly constrain Minority Depository Institutions and smaller lenders from serving their customers and helping them build generational wealth through homeownership.
  • Counter Fannie and Freddie’s affordable housing obligations.

The groups urged the agencies to:

  • Delay implementation of the agreements’ product and program restrictions and restart negotiations to remove them.
  • Clarify how the restrictions will be tracked and enforced at the lender level.


About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.