U.S. Treasury awards $65M tax credit to Truist

Truist Financial Corporation is receiving $65 Million tax credit to support underserved the low-income community investments. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund selected to allocate $65 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) to the bank’s subsidiary, SunTrust Community Development Enterprises (CDE).

CDE is one of 76 companies receiving NMTC awards totaling $643 million. “The allocation was tied for the largest award made to any community development entity,” Truist said in a statement, and marks the tenth time CDE has been a recipient. 

The NMTC program, established by Congress in December of 2000, aims to attract private-sector capital investment into urban and rural low-income areas. 

With $504 billion in assets, the Charlotte, N. C., based company is the sixth-largest commercial bank in the U.S.Through the program Truist will provide loans and investments with reduced interest rates, and non-traditional terms and conditions to support projects “that stimulate economic growth and create quality job, education, and wellness opportunities” for underserved communities.

The NMTC allocation “will enhance our ability to invest in and serve communities where we live and work,” said Steve Ross, Truist NMTC program director. “We take great pride in our responsibility to bring opportunities to areas that have been historically overlooked.”

Furthermore, the award will help the company make meaningful contributions to the Truist Bank Community Benefits Plan launched in July 2019. The plan’s goal is to lend or invest $60 billion in low-to-moderate income areas and minority borrowers from 2020 to 2022.

The three-year commitment includes $31 billion for home purchase mortgages, $7.8 billion for small businesses lending, and $17.2 billion in community development lending for affordable housing and other investments. Truist also plans to open at least 15 new branches in underserved, or majority minority communities across its future footprint, according to the company website.

“We’ve already deployed nearly $6 billion in capital to projects that strengthen our communities, and we look forward to expanding this purpose-driven work with the new allocation,” said Keitt King, head of Truist Community Capital (TCC), a client-focused business. 

The NMTC program heightens TCC’s ability to provide “tailored solutions” to developers, CDEs, local governments and nonprofits.



Guaranteed Rate 1H20 volume up 86%

The mortgage origination joint venture between Guaranteed Rate Inc. and Realogy Holdings Corp., incorporated as Guaranteed Rate Affinity (GRA) in 2017 is off to a great start. In the first half of 2020, GRA funded over $5 billion in loans, up 86% increase in loan volume compared to 2019. Low mortgage rates drove both purchases and refinances volume up, and funding of 15,000 units, leading to a new company record.

“It’s been incredible to see Guaranteed Rate Affinity reach this milestone and build such strong momentum,” said Victor Ciardelli, GRA’s president and CEO. “This is a testament to the extreme hard work of our loan officers and our strong partnership with Realogy and we look forward to achieving many more future milestones.”

The 1H20 record reflect over $2 billion in mortgage loans funded during the months of May and June. According to the company website, GRA has now served over 57,000 borrowers “while maintaining a 96% customer satisfaction score.”

There are other factors at play in the joint venture’s success.

Realogy Holdings Corp., owner of several real estate brands, also is a partner that enables GRA to originate and market its mortgage lending services to Realogy’s real estate, brokerage and relocation subsidiaries coast-to-coast, in addition to the public and unrelated entities. 

Backed by award-winning technology, such as FlashClose powered by Notarize on smartphones, tablets or computers, allow for a completely digital, mortgage process for borrowers and real estate agents with access to loan officers. GRA has nearly 1,000 employees across the country, and licensed in 49 states including Washington, D.C. 

“A trusted partner to help our agents and customers navigate uncertain times, is invaluable,” said Ryan Gorman, Coldwell Banker president and CEO. “During the first half of this year, Guaranteed Rate Affinity has been able to serve more clients, break company records and continue its ambitious market growth.”

Ricoh unveils AI-powered workflow ecosystem 

By and by Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming a staple of business automation. Ricoh USA, Inc. in Exton, Pa.announced the launch of a workflow and process automation ecosystem that enables digital transformation and imparts business insights through one, simple and intuitive platform “with a modern consumer-like experience.”

Part of what is modern about the RICOH Intelligent Business Platform is the use of self-learning AI tools and flexible low-code applications that organically streamline the user experience. 

These tools allow companies to replace inefficient analog workflows with highly flexible digital workflows that aid productivity and information management, the company said, enables regulatory compliance and leverages machine learning (ML). 

Designed to help all industries, especially those that are document intensive such as healthcare, banking and insurance, the platform features a broad variety of applications for specific operational needs, such as mortgage touchless automation, revenue cycle, workers compensation and workforce management. 

“It’s already clear that the future is digital,” said Amit Daga, vice president, portfolio strategy and engineering, Ricoh USA, Inc. “Improving workflow efficiency, reducing transaction costs and enabling work-from-anywhere is no longer just a desire, it is now a business-survival and growth mandate… the platform embraces that challenge and delivers a fundamental shift in business process automation.”

The platform expedites the use of automation and robotics to streamline document workflows, provide interactive data visualizations to improve customer experience.

To make the most of the technological opportunities available, Ricoh’s business platform seamlessly integrates human capabilities with AI to improve process visibility and process automation. The result is higher transaction efficiency by reducing manual touch points so staff can accomplish more remotely, and practice social distancing.

Data visualizations updated in near-real time also offer users a clearer picture of how disparate processes interact with each other, generating insights that ultimately help improve business operation efficiency.

Lastly, the platform benefits from being a customizable ecosystem. It leverages Ricoh’s vast Managed Services footprint to give users an effective blend of advanced options. Built on a scalable, cloud-hosted ecosystem the platform enables users to select from a growing library of subscription-based Ricoh services

Ricoh USA, Inc.is an affiliate of Ricoh Group. Headquartered in Tokyo for more than 80 years Ricoh operates in 200 countries providing various services, including document and business management solutions, communications, and advanced technology and automation tools. 

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