In June, the Community Development Bankers Association (CBDA) hosted its annual conference over three days in Washington, D.C. Community development finance practitioners and partners from across the country gathered to exchange ideas, share best practices, and tell stories of impact.

CBDA offered several tracks of focus for attendees, including capitalization and fundraising, climate and resiliency, lending and portfolio management, racial equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and more.

CDBA’s 2024 Peer Forum Recap

Community Development Bankers are navigating economic and policy uncertainties in an election year.

The conference was rich with sessions addressing the current economic and policy climate, particularly in light of the upcoming elections. A significant portion of the discussions focused on how potential shifts in political power could impact financial services and regulatory policies. The fireside chat with Gene Ludwig and the panel on navigating the future provided valuable insights into how community development bankers can prepare for changes and strategize accordingly. Key concerns included the unpredictable nature of bank failures and rescues and the Federal Reserve’s role in driving mortgage rates to record highs. These sessions underscored the importance of staying informed and adaptable in the face of political and economic shifts.

Strategies for liquidity and deposit management in a liquidity constrained financial environment

One of the standout themes of the conference was the focus on deposit management and liquidity strategies for CDFIs and MDIs. In a session on best practices for raising deposits, experts shared actionable insights on attracting and retaining deposits, crucial for maintaining growth and sustainability in today’s financial climate. Topics covered included active pitching through webinars and donor-advised funds, leveraging long-term deposit strategies, and enhancing engagement with existing depositors. The emphasis on strategic marketing and data analytics to upsell current customers highlighted the need for a proactive approach to deposit management.

Harnessing technology and green financing for future growth

Emerging technologies and green financing were also prominent themes at the conference. The keynote address by Surjit Chana highlighted the transformative potential of technology in advancing values-based banking. Discussions on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) illustrated how new financial incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act can support sustainable projects and promote equitable growth. Sessions explored how banks can integrate tax credits and revolving loan funds to enhance profitability while driving impactful climate action. The focus on green financing aligns with the industry’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, positioning community development banks at the forefront of climate solutions.

The CBDA Peer Forum was a resounding success in bringing together industry leaders to share knowledge, build relationships, and explore innovative solutions for the future. We look forward to implementing the insights gained and continuing to drive positive change in our communities.

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