Giving Back Earns ‘Outstanding’ Rating

PNC’s Community Reinvestment Act rating reflects the bank’s commitment to communities along with fair and responsible banking.

By Amy Howcroft and Cathy Niederberger

In East Alton, Ill., 46 families will move into an energy-efficient home to call their own. In Charlotte, N.C., 85 middle-school students from a struggling neighborhood receive special support to succeed in school. And in Philadelphia, a neighborhood health center will open its doors to serve low- and moderate-income residents.

These projects and many more are examples of PNC’s community development work, which have led to the bank earning an “outstanding” rating on its most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam.  PNC has consistently earned this top rating since CRA examinations began, including those following the more stringent CRA revisions of 1995 that focus on lending, investments and services. “Outstanding” is the highest rating given by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the federal agency that evaluates financial institutions.

Community development activities that support lower income individuals or neighborhoods — such as affordable housing, economic development, revitalization projects and community services related to financial expertise — are considered when the OCC assigns the rating. The most recent rating is based on PNC’s activities from 2009-mid 2012, a time when the bank doubled in size with its acquisition of National City. PNC's next CRA review is expected to be conducted in 2018, assessing the bank's activities from 2012-2016.

Bill Demchak, PNC’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said PNC works to make communities stronger and more prosperous.

It's a part of our culture and what defines us as a Main Street bank is that we aim to always do right by those we serve and to deliver a superior banking experience for every customer.

Three Tests to Achieve the Rating

CRA activities fall under three areas and involve many lines of business across PNC:

  1. “Service” includes branch and all other retail delivery channels, financial education and board committee service;
  2. “Investments” include those by the Tax Credit group, Community Development Banking (CDB), the PNC Foundation and the Grow Up Great program; and
  3. “Lending” includes mortgage, home equity, small business loans and credit cards and community development loans done by CDB, Public Finance, Real Estate Banking and others.

Volunteerism, for CRA purposes, is demonstrated by PNC employees’ extending their financial expertise into the community in some way. Often it’s through serving on a board or by providing financial education that positively impacts families or communities.

PNC’s CDB group serves as the connector between PNC and those living  in our low- and moderate-income -communities across the bank’s footprint. The team works with consumer groups, community organizations, neighborhood developers and local community development corporations, serving as the entry point to the rest of PNC. CDB distinguishes PNC because its objective is to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income communities through a blend of products, services and philanthropy.

PNC brings Grow Up Great, its early childhood education program, to communities through the Mobile Learning Adventure, a traveling exhibit that engages children in fun, learning activities.

In the current environment and with heightened expectations, few banks achieve an "outstanding" CRA rating. PNC's achievement reflects not only our commitment to communities, but also our best practices around fair and responsible banking.

It takes everyone across PNC to be focused on lending and investing in low- and moderate-income communities — we all own this outcome.

In Cleveland, the PNC Fairfax Connection is a free community resource center offering local business owners and residents of all ages access to innovative technology, educational opportunities and exciting new experiences.

Amy Howcroft is CRA compliance manager and Cathy Niederberger is managing director of community development banking for PNC Bank.


For more details of PNC’s community support, read more about our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts »









Amy Howcroft, CRA compliance manager

Cathy Niederberger, managing director of community development banking

Every three to four years, the OCC evaluates a bank’s record of meeting the credit needs of its entire community — including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods — consistent with the safe, sound operation of the institution. Based on the evaluation, a bank is rated as outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve or substantial noncompliance.

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