The New York Department of Financial Services, otherwise known as the DFS, supervises and regulates the activities of about 3,000 banks and related financial institutions. The DFS seeks to build an equitable, transparent, and resilient financial system that benefits individuals and supports business. The DFS currently is led by Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris, who has a lengthy background in economic policy.
Superintendent Harris recently announced the implementation of regulations to the Community Reinvestment Act, which is contained in New York’s Banking Law. The regulations support Banking Law § 28-b, which originally was enacted in 2019, and will allow the DFS to collect data on how well New York banks are serving minority- and women-owned businesses in their communities.
The goal is to ensure that banks are providing equitable access to credit and to hold them accountable when they don’t. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who sponsored the legislation, recognized the importance of small business in local communities, especially minority- and women-owned businesses who often are not treated equitably.
Small businesses and economic policy makers recognize that access to capital – that is, to business loans, lines of credit, and other credit-related products – is integral to a company’s success. Historically, however, women and minorities have found themselves treated differently in the banking arena, and this change is another step to ensure equity in business.
With access to the resources they need, minority- and women-owned businesses will better thrive, and as a result, New York’s economy thrives. As a woman-owned business itself, The Coppola Firm is well versed in the ever-changing landscape surrounding small businesses in New York State and nationally, including those owned by women and minorities.
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