Baltimore Community Lending raises $3 million from PNC

NCP Bankpiloted in Maryland by a veteran Laura Gambleagreed to invest $3 million in the Baltimore Community Loansupporting its development programs for underserved and disadvantaged neighborhoods in and around Baltimore.

“PNC’s direct investment in Baltimore Community Lending underscores its mission to support the revitalization and strengthening of underserved neighborhoods in Baltimore,” said Gamble, regional president of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based bank in Greater Maryland. “The BCL’s innovative and flexible financial assistance programs are designed specifically to foster community development.

NCP Bankwhose parent company is PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE:PNC), took a big step toward increasing community lending in 2021, when it pledged $88 billion over four years for a community benefits plan in partnership with National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The national program will provide a variety of financial support to help low- and middle-income people and neighborhoods, and people and communities of color, rebuild their livelihoods.

Liberian-born Watchen Harris-Bruce, who has led BCL for three years, said she was encouraged by the “shared purpose” of the two institutions and their vision to “transform neighborhoods” in the Baltimore metro area. “PNC’s commitment will help BCL provide funding and support to underserved small businesses and community developers,” said Harris-Bruce, who led BCL’s “Re-Imagining Baltimore” program.

Founded in 1989, BCL has mobilized nearly $220 million to produce more than 4,000 affordable housing units and 450,000 square feet of commercial and community space. In line with its strategic goal of strengthening neighborhoods through flexible financing, it recently expanded its small business lending.

Learning from sport

Laura Gamble, who served Bank of America for 24 years, joined PNC Bank as Regional President for the Greater Maryland Area in 2012. She is one of Baltimore’s most experienced business leaders and the face of the banking sector in the region. In 2009, she left BofA, where she was regional president of Maryland, to join her former colleague Cindy Flanders in starting a consulting firm, Skipjack Partners.

An avid athlete, Gamble played basketball, softball, and volleyball in high school and fencing in college. She is arguably best known for rowing – a morning passion she continues to this day. Gamble is a member of the Baltimore Rowing Club Women’s Masters Program and rows four days a week.

Gamble put his sporting qualities at the service of his corporate career. In addition to providing generous motivation, Gamble emphasized team spirit. “Nobody goes anywhere on their own,” she once told Daily Record in an interview. “For you to lead, people have to want to follow you. It is not a mandate, you must earn the right to lead through trust and by putting the welfare of others before your own.

She is a co-founder of the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance and serves on the board of the Baltimore Community Foundation. Gamble was a branch manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Third largest bank in Baltimore

PNC is the third largest bank in Greater Baltimore with approximately $5.8 billion in local deposits and a 9.6% market share. Its $88 billion community benefits plan announced last year includes a wide range of programs – $47 billion for home-buying mortgages, $26.5 billion for small businesses and $14.5 billion for Community Development Loans and Investments (CDLI). The bank will also spend at least $10 million in annual charitable support for individual development account programs, as well as state and local housing councils and small business technical assistance agencies.

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