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"A repeated theme is that this bank encompasses a big part of rural America," said Skillern. "BB&T has the greatest number of bank branches in rural North Carolina, so they made a commitment not to close any branches in rural areas — which is huge given the national trend."

“BB&T and SunTrust listened and responded affirmatively to the concerns and requests of community leaders,” Reinvestment Partners Executive Director Peter Skillern said. “The plan demonstrates how one plus one equals more than two with commitments for higher levels of investments, loans and services for low-income communities.”

"A lot of advocates view [court fees] as a regressive tax... charging the people who need to have access to the courts."

"You could see that there could be a perverse incentive created where someone is convicted, for example, of a traffic violation . . . there's a small amount of that [fee] that goes towards the Law Enforcement Retirement Fund.'

- Quisha Mallette, Community Advocate, Reinvestment Partners

"Last year, First Tennessee Bank agreed to commit $4 billion toward poorer neighborhoods, mainly through loans — a significant amount for a conservative Southern bank.

First Tennessee's effort came after a 12-page letter submitted in 2018 by Reinvestment Partners of Durham, North Carolina, acknowledged the lack of commitment by the bank to serve the needs of 'low-income and minority communities or borrowers.'"

"Adam Rust, the managing director of WiseWage, a Durham, North Carolina-based nonprofit that enrolls unbanked workers into safe and affordable FDIC-insured bank accounts... says that just about anybody – even if you've been blacklisted by banks in the past – should be able to get a checkless overdraft-free debit card account."

Two community advocacy groups are in early discussions about the potential impact of BB&T and SunTrust Banks’ proposed merger and plan to engage with the banks, leaders of the two groups said.

"We're trying to move food assistance to a sustainable model that saves health care costs and therefore warrants the investment in better nutrition. It may sound jargony, but basically it’s not enough to simply want to do good. Our ideas have to be competitive in the marketplace to really have an impact. And the results are showing that." - Peter Skillern

Reinvestment Partners' Lorisa Seibel is a North Carolina certified lead risk assessor and a long-time fixture in Durham, working and volunteering in the housing sector for 30 years.

City of Durham receives $125,000 to address childhood hunger, thanks to Reinvestment Partners' grant application assistance.

  • Capital Bank
  • City of Durham EWD
  • NC Housing Coalition
  • NC Housing Finance Agency
  • Triangle Community Foundation
  • United Way of the Greater Triangle
  • UNC - Chapel Hill
  • Wells Fargo
  • Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
    Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
  • Equal Housing Opportunity
  • BB&T
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
  • The Burt's Bees Foundation
    The Burt's Bees Foundation