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Acquisitive Iberiabank in La. creates $6.7B community investment plan

Iberiabank in Lafayette, La., has developed a $6.7 billion community benefits plan.

The $22 billion-asset company, which has been an aggressive acquirer in recent months, said in a press release last week that it had worked with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition on the five-year plan.

Starting next year, Iberiabank will increase its focus on mortgages and small business lending, community development, philanthropy and improving access to financial services in low- and moderate-income communities. The plan will focus on the eight states where Iberiabank operates, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.

Iberiabank will fund $2 billion in mortgages in low- to moderate-income areas and minority communities; $3.2 billion in small business lending; $1.5 billion in community development, including areas affected by hurricanes; and $20 million in grants and philanthropy such as workforce development and housing counseling.

The company will open one new branch in both Miami and Atlanta.

“With our continued growth, a written plan provides a clearer understanding of our commitment to continue to invest in and low and moderate income communities within our service areas,” Daryl Byrd, the company’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“We continue to be dedicated to improving our communities through strategic partnerships which promote financial literacy, affordable housing, small business development, and neighborhood revitalization,” Byrd added.

Acquirers often work with groups such as the NCRC to develop community investment plans.

KeyCorp in Cleveland announced a $16.5 billion plan tied to its purchase of First Niagara Financial Group. Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio, said it would fund investments and loans totaling $16.1 billion after it agreed to buy FirstMerit. Both worked with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

Iberia has bought more than a dozen banks since early 2009, including this year’s purchase of Sabadell United Bank in Miami.

“Iberiabank has been actively engaged in meaningful conversations with our members to ensure that they are well positioned to meet the needs of underserved communities,” NCRC President and CEO John Taylor said in the release. “This community benefits commitment is the gold standard and raises the bar for all banks on what constitutes a forward thinking community commitment."

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