CLEVELAND, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- KeyBank (NYSE: KEY) has earned its eighth "Outstanding" rating from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), for exceeding the terms of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam. Key is the only U.S. national bank among the 25 largest to be rated Outstanding by the OCC for eight consecutive review periods, since the Act's passage in 1977.
"We're honored to have earned an 'Outstanding' rating from the OCC for the eighth consecutive time," said Beth Mooney, KeyCorp chairman and chief executive officer. "It's a testament to the character of our people and our commitment to serving all markets in our footprint. We're especially proud to have provided loans, investments and services throughout the exam period, which was the height of the financial crisis. Being a responsible bank during difficult times matters to the communities that we serve."
The Community Reinvestment Act requires banks to meet the credit needs of low- and moderate-income communities across America. The exam rates institutions in three categories: lending, investment, and services. Included in the assessment are bank practices such as mortgage lending, small business lending, community development lending, investments in community development organizations and projects, bank services to communities, and employee community involvement. For the overall rating and the three subcategories, banks are assigned one of four ratings: "Outstanding," "Satisfactory," "Need to Improve" or "Substantial Noncompliance." The OCC completes a CRA exam for a bank every three to four years, and Key's recent exam period covered July 1, 2008 – September 30, 2011."It's not enough to just satisfy compliance requirements," said Bruce Murphy, head of KeyBank's Corporate Responsibility Group. "We focus on broadly investing in our communities in terms of philanthropy, affordable housing, business and mortgage loans, programs with community partners, and services that make a difference. Our business approach is to balance mission and margin, so that both shareholders and communities benefit from our investments." Significant community achievements during the exam period ( July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2011), which led to KeyBank's Outstanding rating, include:
- KeyBank extended more than $2.9 billion to developments in underserved communities in the form of debt and equity. Key's participation in commercial economic development projects stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods and provide affordable housing.
- KeyBank financed the construction of more than 119,000 affordable housing units, designed for individuals who earn less than 60 percent the U.S. average median income.
- KeyBank cashed government and payroll checks for more than 31,000 people through KeyBank Plus. KeyBank Plus offers nontraditional banking products to underserved communities, such as low fee check cashing, free financial education, checkless checking, and a short term line of credit, preferable to a payday loan.
- KeyBank's free tax preparation day, Super Refund Saturday, helped return more than $9 million in refunds to low- and moderate-income residents.
- Through KeyBank Foundation, KeyCorp distributed $40 million to nonprofit organizations.
- KeyBank employees volunteered 25,000 hours of service to approximately 600 nonprofit organizations serving low- and moderate-income individuals.
- KeyBank employee volunteers taught free financial education classes to more than 28,000 individuals from January 1, 2004 – September 30, 2011.
- Neighbors Make the Difference Day, an annual company-wide day of volunteerism in local neighborhoods. During the exam period, KeyBank employees volunteered a total of 100,400 hours, or $2.8 million in salary equivalency, on nearly 3,000 projects nationwide.
- KeyBank's commitment to supplier diversity. KeyBank spent 15 percent of its overall vendor budget with minority-, women-, and veteran owned businesses each of the past three years, compared to the average of eight percent spent by publicly traded corporations.