For more than two decades the bank has earned outstanding performance results in its evaluation by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
Miami, FL, Feb. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amerant Bank, the largest community bank headquartered in Florida, announced today that it had once again received Outstanding and High ratings in all three performance categories – Lending, Investment and Service – in its CRA evaluation (Community Reinvestment Act) by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Since 2000, the bank has earned outstanding performance results in its evaluations.
Key benchmarks from the report include:
- The Lending Test rating is based on the excellent level of community development (CD) lending. Amerant proved to be a leader in CD lending, with good geographic and borrower distribution of lending and a substantial majority of the bank’s loans being in the assessment areas. Amerant’s use of flexible lending practices, included responsiveness to borrowers during the pandemic.
- The Investment Test rating is based on the excellent level of investments, donations, and grants that reflected its responsiveness to credit and community economic development needs.
- The Service Test rating is based on the reasonable accessibility of branch offices to geographies and individuals of different income levels and Amerant being a leader in providing CD services.
“We’re proud to receive this distinction again, which I believe is a direct reflection of the dedication and effort our team members provide to our customers and the communities we serve,” said Jerry Plush, Chairman and CEO at Amerant Bank. “We greatly appreciate this recognition of working hard to do the right thing.”
Amerant’s use of flexible lending practices, including the responsiveness to borrowers during the pandemic, positively impacted results under the Lending Test, as the bank proved to be a leader in originating CD loans while responding to community needs.
Amerant also showed an excellent level of CD investments and grants, often in a leadership position, particularly in those that are not supported by private investors.
The evaluation goes on to state that Amerant Bank makes extensive use of innovative and flexible lending practices to serve the needs of its branches and respective customers in the markets they are in.
Through the bank’s micro-business grant program, Amerant also provided 168 grants totaling 100K during the evaluation period, which helped support the needs of micro-businesses in the community that had limited access to resources, and that did not qualify for government-assisted financial aid, loans, or programs.
“Serving our communities is not only a responsibility but a privilege,” added Mary Cruz, First Vice President CRA Officer for Amerant Bank. “We are positively impacting the communities in which we have a presence, and the latest results of this evaluation prove that Amerant team members really do make a difference.”
As a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) approved lender, Amerant provided small business loans through various programs, including SBA 504, SBA 7(a), and SBA Express. During the evaluation period, the bank amassed approximately $55.3 million in SBA loans, while the bank’s SBA Payment Protection Program (PPP) accumulated 3,658 PPP loans, totaling $247.6 million, ultimately helping stabilize several small businesses.
The CRA was enacted in 1977 to encourage banks and thrifts to assist in meeting the credit needs of all community sectors, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The law requires that regulators assess each institution’s record of helping to fulfill community obligations. Under the act, the OCC used procedures established by federal financial supervisory agencies to analyze Amerant’s performance with respect to lending, investment, and service.
Earlier in 2023, Amerant Bank announced plans to continue investing for future growth by opening banking centers in key South Florida locations, including Downtown Miami, Key Biscayne, and Las Olas, while adding high-quality business development personnel in domestic retail, private, and commercial banking as well as wealth management. In 2022, Amerant Bank established a new commercial bank presence in the Greater Tampa Bay market with the opening of an office and will also be opening a banking center in late 2023. Amerant Bank was also on Newsweek’s list of America’s 100 Most Loved Workplaces®, where the bank ranked #54 in Florida. The 2022 Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces® are the result of a collaboration with the Best Practice Institute (BPI), a leadership development and benchmark research company.
About Amerant Bank
Amerant Bank, N.A., is the largest community bank headquartered in Florida and the main subsidiary of Amerant Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: AMTB), with a presence across South Florida, Tampa, FL, Houston, TX, and internationally. The bank has been serving clients for over 40 years and comprises subsidiaries Amerant Investments and Amerant Mortgage. Rooted in the communities it serves, Amerant Bank supports numerous non-profit and community organizations. For news and updates, visit the Amerant Newsroom.