Fleet Financial Group plans to hold a party on Capitol Hill today to celebrate the first anniversary of its $8 billion, three-year community reinvestment plan.
Agnes J. Bundy, director of corporate community development, will announce that the Providence, R.I.-based company has made more than $2 billion in loans and mortgages to individuals with low-to-moderate incomes.
Fleet has invited members of Congress from the 15 states where it does business in to hear Ms. Bundy's progress report. She will speak at a noon briefing today in one of the Senate office buildings.
Lawmakers also will hear Robert Golitz, president of Fleet's mortgage section, explain specific loan programs. John Hamill, president of Fleet Bank in Massachusetts, will be on hand to answer questions about the company's deal, announced last week, for Shawmut National Corp.
Fleet announced its reinvestment plan - the $8 billion is the most ever pledged by a bank over such a short period - in the wake of fair lending settlements in Massachusetts and Georgia that tarnished its image.
Under the program, called Fleet InCity, the bank has made almost 37,000 mortgage, consumer, and small business loans to individuals who otherwise might find it difficult to access adequate credit, said Fleet spokesman Thomas Lavelle. Although the program is national, most loans were made in the bank's home area of New England.
"Given year one is the start-up year, that's quite good," Mr. Lavelle said.
The bank made 10,000 consumer loans, totaling $76 million, under the program last year. About $209 million was lent to rebuild troubled neighborhoods.
Almost 41% of the loans made were to small businesses, Mr. Lavelle said.
In announcing the commitment last year, Fleet chief executive Terrence Murray promised to make $7.5 billion in affordable housing loans plus $435 million in consumer and small business loans in underserved areas.
Fleet also plans to spend $15 million to launch a community development corporation, according to Mr. Murray.
Mr. Lavelle attributed part of the success of Fleet InCity to the bank's partnerships with community groups.
"The partnerships gave us first hand a sense of what communities want," he said.