U.S. Bank Expands Lending Opportunities for Diverse Groups

FYI News and Notes By John Burton Jr.

In April, U.S. Bank introduced a new Business Diversity Lending Program that will expand the ability of diverse business owners to obtain capital, building upon the bank’s broader efforts to support under-represented businesses and help address the wealth gap. Through the Business Diversity Lending Program, U.S. Bank will provide credit and financing to help women, minority and veteran-owned businesses grow and thrive. The program is based on traditional loans and lines of credit at U.S. Bank, allowing for modified credit guidelines that enable more business owners to access the funding they need to run their businesses.

The U.S. Bank Business Diversity Lending Program is a type of special-purpose credit program, or SPCP, permitted by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. These programs are specifically designed to improve access to capital for members of economically disadvantaged classes. This program follows last year’s acquisition of MUFG Union Bank. Union Bank was a pioneer in implementing an SPCP for small businesses, launching their Business Diversity Lending Program around 30 years ago. U.S. Bank is continuing this legacy, with expanded impact across the U.S. Bank footprint.

 “Small businesses are the bedrock of the U.S. Economy, and by broadening access to capital we are helping to fuel more business owners’ dreams and drive economic growth. By building stronger women, minority and veteran-owned businesses, we are creating more vibrant communities for everyone,” said Sekou Kaalund, head of Branch and Small Business Banking at U.S. Bank.

Under the U.S. Bank program, eligible businesses may qualify for reduced credit score and decreased cash flow coverage requirements on most conventional lending products, up to $2.5 million. Businesses are eligible if they are at least 51 percent owned and operated by one or more individuals who identify as a woman, minority and/or veteran.