WASHINGTON — Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry on Wednesday expressed support for community development financial institutions, arguing they were an important part of the industry, even as the Trump administration is seeking to cut all government funding for them.

Though Curry did not refer to the administration's budget plan, he spoke out on the need for CDFI banks.

“Our nation and economy are stronger when [Minority Depository Institutions] and CDFI banks are a healthy, vibrant part of our financial services industry,” Curry said in prepared remarks for a conference in Los Angeles honoring such institutions.

Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry
“I am optimistic about the future of MDIs and CDFIs,” said Curry. Bloomberg News

“Diversity is critical in the ability of the banking sector to adapt to the needs of a diverse nation," Curry said. "A one-size-fits-all approach will not produce the kinds of innovation and responsiveness to customer needs that are necessary for our efforts to be successful.”

The Trump administration first suggested cutting funding for CDFIs in its budget proposal released last month. The program was also included in a spreadsheet sent to Hill appropriations committees last week, listing specific budget cuts the administration wishes to make. It estimated that eliminating government funding for the CDFIs would save $210 million.

Curry's term expires Sunday, but he is expected to stay on until a successor is confirmed. During his speech, he expressed hope about the program.
“I am optimistic about the future of MDIs and CDFIs,” Curry said.

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