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FEDERAL RESERVE RANKS BANKERS TRUST "OUTSTANDING" FOR CRA PROGRAM; FIRST FOR A WHOLESALE BANK

FEDERAL RESERVE RANKS BANKERS TRUST "OUTSTANDING" FOR CRA PROGRAM;
 FIRST FOR A WHOLESALE BANK
 NEW YORK, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Bankers Trust Company has been awarded an "outstanding" rating by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for its program in compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. The award marks the first time that a wholesale bank -- one without a retail branch system -- has been judged "outstanding" by Federal Reserve examiners.
 "Urban problems require fresh thinking and the willingness to do things differently. Our strategy has been to use our position as a global merchant bank to the advantage of New York City's low income communities. We are delighted that the Federal Reserve has recognized this commitment and what we've been able to accomplish," said Charles S. Sanford, Jr., chairman of Bankers Trust Company.
 The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted by Congress in 1977 to ensure that banks make credit available in low-and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound lending practices. CRA ratings, which can be "outstanding," "satisfactory," "needs improvement" or "substantial non-compliance" can have a decisive effect on banking institution's application for approval of new branches, acquisitions, mergers or new powers.
 "The path toward excellence in serving community needs is relatively clear for banks that have branch systems, but has been uncharted for wholesale banks such as ours," said Page Chapman, head of the bank's Community Reinvestment Committee. "We chose to view this absence of a road map as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage. To lead an effort that needed to innovative, we hired nontraditional bankers who earned their credentials in the South Bronx and North Brooklyn and who understand the needs of neighborhoods from first hand experience."
 The bank's portfolio of loans and investments is as diverse as the needs of New York's neighborhoods. Bankers Trust has been one of the largest investors in the low income housing tax credit program with a 1992 commitment of $10 million, and also makes loans as small as $50,000 to organizations who may be borrowing for the first time.
 "We see our role as not only making credit available to low-and moderate-income neighborhoods, but also building the capacity of community based organizations," says Gary Hattem, who heads the bank's Community Development Group. "Our Venture Capital Program provides financing for economic development projects, as well as grant support to pay needed technical assistance. This helps ensure the success of projects that have ranged from capitalizing a loan pool for Harlem merchants to helping to finance a student operated printing business."
 Bankers Trust has put its vast global relationships to use in structuring Global Resources for Affordable Neighborhood (GRAND). The program has raised more than $40 million dollars from foreign banks such as Bank of Tokyo, Korea Exchange Bank, Dresdner Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank Commerce. This capital is being channeled into the development of affordable housing throughout the five boroughs.
 "Bankers Trust has taken the concept of private/public partnerships the next step with boldness and leadership which is strengthening the entire community development movement. They've taken a creative approach to spanning the distance between Park Avenue and the needs of the neighborhoods," said Paul Grogan, president of Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), the nation's largest nonprofit community development support organization.
 Beyond loans and investments, the bank's philanthropic effort has focused its grant support to grass roots groups. A $1 million grants program, a portion of its $7 million annual contributions budget, has helped advance the property management skills of more than 30 neighborhood organizations which are assuming ownership of thousands of apartments developed by the city for formerly homeless families. The support has also included training and technical assistance.
 Other grants to community efforts have included a $1.5 million commitment to establish a working capital program which provides funding to neighborhood-based developers, including access to an interest free line of credit.
 "Clearly the city alone cannot meet the needs of community based revitalization efforts," said commissioner Felice Michetti of New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Bankers Trust has time and again proven to be a committed institutional partner in leveraging the city's massive capital investment in neighborhoods."
 -0- 8/13/92
 /CONTACT: Rochelle Lefkowitz of Pro-Media, 212-245-0510, for Bankers Trust, or Gary Hattem of Bankers Trust, 212-454-3487/ CO: ST: IN: SU:


TM-LD -- NY007A -- 9696 08/13/92 13:58 EDT
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Date:Aug 13, 1992
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