CDFI Fund: Public Comments Sought on FY 2020-2022 Bank Enterprise Award Program Application

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). Currently, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), U.S. Department of the Treasury, is soliciting comments concerning the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program) Application, for the fiscal year (FY) 2020-FY 2022 funding rounds (hereafter, the Application or Applications).

The purpose of the BEA Program is to provide an incentive to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured (FDIC-insured) depository institutions to increase their lending, investment, and financial services to residents and businesses located in economically distressed communities, and provide assistance to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) through grants, stock purchases, loans, deposits, and other forms of financial and technical assistance. 

The CDFI Fund will make awards through the BEA Program to FDIC-insured depository institutions, based upon such institutions’ demonstrated increase of qualified activities, as reported in the Application. The Application will solicit information concerning: applicants’ eligibility to participate in the BEA Program; the increase in total dollar value of applicants’ qualified activities; impact of qualified activities; and appropriate supporting documentation. The questions that the Application contains, and the information generated thereby, will enable the CDFI Fund to evaluate applicants’ activities and determine the extent of applicants’ eligibility for BEA Program awards.

The CDFI Fund is seeking: (a) specific input on the BEA Program Application; and (b) general input on other BEA Program-related topics and considerations. Commentators should ensure that their comments are clearly labeled in order to distinguish those related to: (a) the BEA Program Application or, (b) other BEA Program-related topics and considerations. The (existing) Application may be obtained on the BEA Program page of the CDFI Fund’s website at https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/Programs/bank_enterprise_award/Pages/apply-step.aspx#step1.

Comments concerning the Application are invited on: (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services required to provide information. 

Comments are also invited on a wide-range of other BEA Program-related topics and considerations. For example, the CDFI Fund asks for comment on whether it should:

  • require Applicants to report on their safety and soundness by requesting that they provide information on their most recent independent audit, their most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Rating, and information on any enforcement actions; 
  • add other types of loans, investments or service activities not currently considered BEA Program Qualified Activities; 
  • collect additional information on the impact of program related investments;
  • collect basic information on the affordability of financial products reported to the CDFI Fund in the BEA Program Application for award consideration; and
  • make changes to how awards are prioritized included prioritizing awards to Applicants that invested in Persistent Poverty Counties during the Assessment Period.

A complete list of questions regarding the BEA Program Application, as well as BEA Program-topics is provided for review and comment in the Federal Register notice.

Comments must be submitted in writing by 60 days after the date of publication of the Federal Register notice via email to Mia Sowell, BEA Program Associate Program Manager, CDFI Fund, at bea@cdfi.treas.gov or Service Request in the Award Management Information System. For the Service Request, select “BEA Application” for the record type.

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