Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook said community development financial institutions play a crucial role, calling them "financial first responders" and enumerating how the Fed supports them.

Details: During a speech in New York, Cook, who once served on the board of a Michigan-based CDFI, said:

  • More Americans are becoming aware of CDFIs, partially due to the Oscar-nominated film "The Barber of Little Rock."

  • CDFIs frequently work with historically underserved populations, with roughly 20% headquartered in counties with persistently high poverty rates and 40% located in communities of color.

  • From 2018 to the start of 2023, the number of certified CDFIs rose 40% and assets have nearly tripled.

ICBA Actions: ICBA last month urged House and Senate appropriators to support fiscal 2025 funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.