PNC Makes $1 Billion Promise To N.J.

The Record ( — Friday, August 17, 2007


PNC Financial Services Group, the third-largest deposit holder in New Jersey, plans to invest at least $1 billion over the next three years in the state to help business owners and home buyers in low-income and moderate-income areas.

PNC held a press conference Thursday in Newark with representatives of consumer watchdog group New Jersey Citizen Action and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey to announce the pledge, which includes $550 million in business loans.

The Pittsburgh-based bank, which has more than 300 branches in New Jersey, also said it promised to make $235 million available for home-equity, home-improvement and unsecured consumer loans at discounted rates.

"PNC has been a leader in creative and innovative ways to provide loans, products and direct services to those who most desperately need assistance in our state," Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action, said in a statement.

As part of the pledge, PNC will provide $60 million for below-market-rate mortgages and for grants to help home buyers with closing costs.

Peter K. Classen, president of PNC Bank for central and northern New Jersey, said in a statement that the bank creates alliances with consumer and housing groups "to deepen the impact of our investments and make a lasting difference." Such investments "make good business sense," he said.

The bank will also provide $20 million to develop community facilities that serve lower-income residents, $7 million for non-profit developers to acquire, construct and sell affordable homes, and $12 million to finance residential and commercial construction projects in neighborhoods in need of revitalization.

Citizen Action and the Housing and Community Development Network are in negotiations to try and get similar commitments from Sun Bank, Roselle Savings Bank and Washington Mutual.

Last year, the two non-profit groups negotiated a five-year, $8 billion community-investment commitment from Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia Corp., which is the second-largest bank in New Jersey by deposit market share behind Bank of America, also of Charlotte, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Taking the pledge

PNC Financial Services Group on Thursday pledged $1 billion over three years for community development in New Jersey. Here is where the money is slated to go:

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