Evansville-based Old National Bancorp (Nasdaq: ONB) has announced a new Community Growth Plan. The bank says the $8.3 billion plan will support historically underserved and economically disadvantaged individuals, families and communities.
Old National says the plan includes nearly $5 billion in community lending and affordable housing commitments to underserved and low-to-moderate income borrowers. An additional $3.3 billion will be used over five years for community development initiatives and philanthropic programs in LMI and minority neighborhoods.
The plan was developed in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Center and its members. It remains subject to the closing of Old National’s merger with First Midwest Bancorp Inc. of Chicago, which is expected to take place by March 1 after receiving final regulatory approval.
“At Old National and First Midwest, engaging with, supporting and strengthening our communities is not only a strategic priority, it’s woven into the fabric of our cultural DNA,” Old National Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan said in written remarks. “We recognize the important role that our banks play in helping to shape a better financial future, and we are proud to partner with NCRC to build on our strong legacy of service and make a lasting impact on the hundreds of communities we serve today, as well as in the future.”
Some of the specific initiatives outlined in the plan include $2 billion in loans to promote increased home ownership and home improvement for LMI households, more than $3 billion in loans to small businesses, and more than $3 billion in loans and investments to support projects to rehabilitate historic buildings, provide affordable housing and generate alternative energy.
The announcement comes less than two months after Old National settled a lawsuit alleging the bank discriminated against Black residents in its mortgage lending practices in Marion County. According to our partners at The Indiana Lawyer, the bank agreed to provide more than $27 million in loans to qualified Black applicants, as well as contribute more than $3 million to create programs that help Black residents secure mortgages.