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Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

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Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are specialized financial institutions operating in markets that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. This section provides information on CDFIs, with a particular focus on the Southeast region of the U.S. In addition, it includes a dedicated section on CDFI banks, also known as Community Development Banks (CDBs).

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are specialized financial institutions operating in markets that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. The CDFI Resource Center provides information on CDFIs, with a special focus on the Southeast region of the U.S.

Directory of CDFIs in the Southeast

Contact information for CDFIs in the Southeast region of the U.S. (Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia), updated in partnership with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, the CDFI Fund and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas and St. Louis.

Community Development Banks (CDBs)

Community development banks (CDBs) are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured depository institutions. They function in much the same way as traditional commercial banks, providing products and services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, personal loans and business loans. What distinguishes CDBs from traditional commercial banks is their focus on low- and moderate-income markets. CDBs are often described as having a dual financial and social mission – earning profits and promoting community development – because they serve low- and moderate-income communities that may be otherwise underserved.

CDBs are part of a larger group of organizations known as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and are often referred to as CDFI banks. CDFIs can obtain a designation known as certification by applying to the CDFI Fund.


Data on community development financial institutions

Peer Group Analysis

The purpose of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Community Development Bank (CDB) Peer Group Analysis is to provide descriptive statistics on a peer group of community development banks that are tracked over time. The peer group analysis is conducted annually and incorporates data from 2005 to the date of the analysis. The peer group of CDBs consists of banks that were in existence from the start date of the analysis and continue to be in existence as of the end date. For example, the 2009 analysis includes banks that were in existence in 2005 and still existed in 2009. Updates will occur annually.

View methodology and list of variables.

Time PeriodReportData


Last Updated: January 17, 2014


Research papers, articles and analysis of community development financial institutions

The Support Center, “Community Development Financial Institutions in North Carolina: Creating Jobs and Community Economic Development.” November 2012. DOWNLOAD PAPER

The Support Center, "Small Business Lending in North Carolina: The Increasing Role of Community Lenders." May 2012. DOWNLOAD PAPER

Community Development Financial Institutions in North Carolina: Creating Jobs and Community Economic Development.

Community Development Financial Institutions - A Unique Partnership for Banks.

Neelakantan, Urvi, Lisa Hearl and Kimberly Zeuli. "CDFIs in the Southeast." Community Scope. Vol. 1, Issue 10. 2010. DOWNLOAD PAPER

Boyle, Jeremiah. “CDFIs and Banks: Addressing the Financing Needs of Small Business” Profitwise News and Views, July 2011.

Newberger, Robin and Michael Berry. "After the Financial Crisis: The Roles and Responsibilities of Banking Institutions in Financing Community Economic Development." Presentation at 2011 Federal Reserve Community Affairs Research Conference, Arlington, Virginia, April 29, 2011.

Gottschall, Bruce. "Shore Bank's Legacy and Vision Continue: A Practitioner's Reflections." Cascade, Winter 2011.

National Community Investment Fund. "Too Important to Fail: The Impact of Community Development Banking Institutions - 2009 and Beyond." November 2010.

"Small Enough to Fail: The Sorry End to a Bold Banking Experiment." The Economist. August 26, 2010.

National Community Investment Fund. "2009 Annual Report on the Financial and Social Performance of the CDFI Banking Sector." May 2010.

Smith, Geoff, Sean Zielenbach, Jennifer Newon, and Sarah Duda. "Collaborators or Competitors? Exploring the Relationship between Community Development Financial Institutions and Conventional Lenders in Small Business Finance." Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Center Working Paper 2009-02, March 2009.

Hamilton, Peggy Delinois. "Starting a Community Development Bank." Communities & Banking, Spring 2006.

Benjamin, Lehn, Julia Sass Rubin, and Sean Zielenbach. "Community Development Financial Institutions: Current Issues and Future Prospects." Journal of Urban Affairs, Volume 26, Number 2, pages 177-195, 2004.

Esty, B. C. "South Shore bank: Is it the model of success for community development banks?" Psychology and Marketing, Volume 12, Issue 8, pages 789–820, 1995.


Last Updated: April 9, 2013


Webinars on topics relevant to community development financial institutions with the aim of helping to build capacity in the CDFI industry

The Structure and Growth of Community Development Banks

Features background information and discussion of trends for the community development bank industry as well as showcases different community development bank models.

Comprehensive Ratings for CDFIs: The Return on Investment from CARS

Discussion centered on the expected outcomes and the costs/benefits of investing in a CARSTM Rating.

The Early Stages: CDFI Start-Up Issues

Topics include information on what you should know if you are considering applying for CDFI certification; where CDFIs can look for resources on funding capitalization; and advice from experienced CDFI leaders on what they found most important in the early stages of their organization.

Participation Loans: How Bankers are Growing their Loans and Lending Partnerships

Information exchange for "Traditional Bankers" about Alternative Lenders (such as micro lenders, community loan funds, CDFIs, and revolving loans) and how they can either partner with these lenders on participation loans or how they can maintain better customer service by referring loans that they are unable to do in house, to an alternative source.


Last Updated: February 21, 2014

Some links updated January 29, 2018


Resources to learn more about policies and regulations affecting community development financial institutions

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), enacted by Congress in 1977, is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate. For additional information, see the FFIEC's Community Reinvestment Act website. CRA requires the federal regulatory agencies, in their examinations of certain depository institutions, to assess the institutions' CRA performance. The institution's performance in helping to meet the credit needs of its community is evaluated in context of information about the institution (capacity, constraints, business strategies), its community (demographic and economic data, lending, investment, and service opportunities) and its competitors and peers.

At the completion of a CRA examination, an overall CRA rating is assigned using a four-tiered rating system. The ratings are: Outstanding, Satisfactory, Needs to Improve, and Substantial Noncompliance.

Rating and Exam

Click on the links below to view the CRA ratings and access the exams for each individual community development bank. The information presented is based on the date of an individual community development bank's most recent CRA exam. Ratings retrieved from FFIEC Interagency CRA Rating Search Tool and exams from the website of the respective institution's regulator. Updates will occur annually.

Community Development Bank CRA Rating Table, Current as of July 22, 2014 (Excel version)

Rating Links

Click on the links below to go to the respective agency or interagency CRA rating search page.

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Interagency

Federal Reserve System (FRS)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

Last Updated: July 25, 2014

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Community Development
(804) 697-8631