Lending and access to banking services in distressed neighborhoods has risen as a result of "mission-oriented" banks, according to a new report from the National Community Investment Fund, an advocacy organization.

The 24 banks studied, which totaled nearly $1.5 billion in loan volume, reported 69% of their home mortgage lending to be in low- to moderate-income areas. The median poverty rate for branch locations among the banks surveyed is 180% higher than the average U.S. bank, the report said.

A vast majority — 81% — of clients at the surveyed banks were minorities, and 43% were women. More than 44% of deposit accounts held less than $1,000.

The data were from 2013.

"These institutions are local, anchor institutions operating oftentimes in underserved communities and the work they do creates long-term change for individuals and businesses," NCIF Chief Executive Saurabh Narain said in a news release. "Mission-oriented banks are an important vehicle for community and economic development in their ability to leverage investments through lending activity as well as their depository and nonfinancial services."


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