U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Wednesday welcomed the testimony of a Mississippi Delta banker on the need to expand federal programs that allow small community banks to supply loans to underserved populations.
Hyde-Smith, ranking member of the Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, invited Bank of Anguilla CEO and President Andy Anderson to testify at a hearing to review the FY2022 budget requests for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“While we consider the broader scope of Treasury Department policies and proposals under the Biden budget plan, it’s important for us to hear directly from business leaders from outside of Washington on the problems facing our nation and their proposed solutions,” Hyde-Smith said. “Andy Anderson provided very good insights on Treasury programs that can have an even bigger impact on underserved regions of the country, like the Mississippi Delta.”
Anderson advocated greater investment in the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) fund and its Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program, which his Sharkey County institution uses to serve the South Delta.
“BEA has the strongest demand among the CDFI Fund programs and is far oversubscribed compared to other programs. In 2020, only $1 in BEA funding was available for every $5.68 in requests. Given the benefit generated by the BEA Program it is critical to increase funding,” Anderson said. “Through the financial benefits of the BEA Program, Bank of Anguilla is able to make commercial loans to small minority businesses and consumer loans to individuals that need financial help.”
Last week, the Bank of Anguilla was among 52 Mississippi banks awarded a $1.82 million CDFI Rapid Response Program grant to use as capital to spur more local private-sector investments.
As part of the budget review, Hyde-Smith addressed issues with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, including President Biden’s gigantic spending and tax plans, rising inflation, and eroding trust in the Internal Revenue Service due to unlawful disclosures of confidential taxpayer information.
“The Treasury Department executes important functions, including promoting economic growth, combatting illicit finance, and administering the Internal Revenue Code. It has also been responsible for executing COVID emergency response programs for businesses and industries. Now, as the country emerges from the public health crisis, the Biden administration’s budget proposals are barreling us toward a spending and debt crisis,” Hyde-Smith said.