First Horizon commits $4 billion to community-development lending

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First Horizon National will expand its loan programs in low-to-moderate-income communities in the southeastern U.S., following its November acquisition of Capital Bank Financial.

The $41 billion-asset company’s two bank subsidiaries, First Tennessee Bank and Capital Bank, have committed to making $3.95 billion of residential mortgage, small-business and community-development loans over a five-year period. First Horizon, of Memphis, Tenn., will also increase its vendor relationships with minority-owned firms.

“Our company is dedicated to supporting the success of underserved individuals and strengthening communities across our footprint,” Bryan Jordan, First Horizon's chairman and CEO, said in a news release.

Banks often make financial contributions or provide other types of assistance in local communities where they have announced merger deals. The contributions are seen both as a gesture of goodwill and a way to obtain regulatory approval for planned branch closures.

First Horizon acquired Capital Bank, in Charlotte, N.C., for $2.2 billion. After closing the deal, First Horizon said it expected to cut $85 million in yearly expenses through branch closings.

As part of the program announced in tandem Tuesday with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, First Horizon will fund the expansion of lending in several areas, including $515 million in home-purchase and rehabilitation mortgage loans; $1.9 billion in small-business loans; and $1.5 billion in community development and multifamily loans and investments.

First Horizon will also provide funding for $40 million in grants and gifts to support workforce development, housing counseling and to fund financial literacy and education programs.

“First Tennessee Bank and Capital Bank have been actively engaged in meaningful conversations with our members to ensure that they are well positioned to meet the needs of underserved communities,” said NCRC President John Taylor. “We very much appreciate the strong collaboration demonstrated by the executive leadership of First Tennessee and Capital Bank.”

The loans and assistance will be offered in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

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