The Massachusetts Community & Banking Council (the MCBC) has sponsored an annual report on lending trends in Massachusetts since 1998.

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About our research partnership with the UMass Donahue Institute – Economic and Public Policy Research

MCBC’s mission is to provide a collaborative forum for Massachusetts financial institutions and community organizations to meet and share information with the goal of affecting positive change in the availability of credit and financial services in low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color across the Commonwealth.

To inform its membership and programming, MCBC relies on the analysis and synthesis of annual mortgage lending and small business lending trends in the state of Massachusetts using the following data sets: Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Bank/Thrift and Credit Union Call Reports, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), and Federal Financial Institution Examination Council CRA rating files.

The main priorities of the reports and online data exploration tool are to provide a/an:

  • Careful description of lending trends that everyone can agree is fair, accurate, and unbiased;
  • Analysis of lending trends with an emphasis on low-income and minority neighborhoods in Massachusetts with comparisons to demographic representation;
  • Analysis of lending trends that is fluent in state and federal Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending regulations;
  • Analysis of lending trends that is accessible to casual users, impactful for practitioners, and informative for all.

MCBC currently focuses its programming on mortgage and small business lending activities. Mortgage and small business lending activities are a common practice of nearly all financial institutions in Massachusetts; are regulated activities under the state and federal Community Reinvestment Acts; and are the primary vehicles for individual, family and community wealth creation. Findings in the annual reports inform MCBC’s committee work, thought leadership, and advocacy work throughout the year.  Historically these reports have been widely referenced and highly regarded resources in the state of Massachusetts.

At the start of 2020, the UMass Donahue Institute Economic and Public Policy Research team began working with MCBC to understand a decade’s worth of small business and mortgage lending trends in Massachusetts using data from the FFIEC and other sources related to the Community Reinvestment Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the SBA.

Over the last six months, the Donahue research team worked with us to reimagine a 25-year tradition of sharing how banking capital flows to citizens and communities of the Commonwealth.

MCBC and the Donahue research team are committed to developing a user-friendly platform to attract a broader audience for whom lending data is accessible, engaging and shareable without being overwhelming.

Together, we are working diligently to:

  • Consolidate lending data on one user-friendly platform to attract a broader audience of community banks, cities and municipalities, community organizations, philanthropies, academics and policy makers;
  • Create a ‘low-barrier’ reference tool that provides:1/ small banks and financial institutions market analytics and the capacity to do peer group comparisons; 2/cities and municipalities a picture of how credit is accessed in their communities; and 3/nonprofit and philanthropic partners data to inform programming, advocacy and grant making/grant submissions on topics related to homeownership, entrepreneurship, and economic development.