On February 21, the American Bankers Association (ABA) launched an online resource focused on special purpose credit programs (SPCPs), highlighting Houston-based Amegy Bank’s Small Business Diversity Banking Program (SBDBP) as the SPCP benchmark for banks across the nation. ABA’s webpage outlines how SPCPs work and includes a checklist for banks to follow when developing models of their own.
Amegy Bank’s executive vice president and regional commercial banking manager, Jevaughn Sterling, led the creation of the bank’s SBDBP in May 2021. It has been instrumental in meeting the financial needs and improving access to capital for diverse small businesses across the bank’s markets.
“As an immigrant from the Caribbean, I work passionately in the financial services industry to ensure that the traditional banking system works for everyone,” Sterling says. “I believe our ability to help more businesses participate in the mainstream banking system can address our most pressing economic and social challenges. Through ABA, we’re proud to share the inner workings of our own special purpose credit program as a case study from which other banks can determine how to progress in addressing underserved communities’ needs for capital.”
With Amegy Bank’s SBDBP as the leading case study, ABA launched this online resource center to bolster awareness of SPCPs among banks and other industry stakeholders, and to share technical insights to support successful SPCP implementation, specially designed for small businesses.
“SPCPs have been permitted by federal financial regulators for more than 40 years under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and are available for all types of credit products,” according to ABA’s recent press release. “These programs are allowed to consider credit applicants favorably based on factors such as race, ethnicity or religion.”
Established in 1990, Amegy Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation NA, has more than 75 locations across Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Central Texas.