Media Advisory – U.S. Treasury Department to Host Annual Freedman’s Bank Forum in Raleigh, North Carolina

WASHINGTON – On Friday, July 12, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is hosting the annual Freedman’s Bank Forum featuring U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, Governor Roy Cooper, Biden-Harris Administration officials, and key leaders from the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. The Forum will highlight the Administration’s continued efforts to increase economic opportunity for communities of color and spotlight local success stories in and around Raleigh, N.C., home to one of 19 original Freedman’s Bank branches. 

The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company was established in 1865 to provide newly emancipated Black Americans with the financial tools to safeguard their earnings, build financial security, and generate family wealth. In 2015, then Treasury Secretary Jack Lew christened the Treasury Annex building, which was built on the site of the “Freedman’s Bank Building” and launched an annual conference to showcase strategies to address racial economic disparities. 

A detailed schedule is available below. All events are open press and times are approximate. 

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Symposium 

1:00 PM – Opening remarks: 

  • Speakers include: Pre-recorded remarks by Secretary Janet L. Yellen; Governor Roy Cooper; Dr. Paulette Dillard, President of Shaw University; Congresswoman Valerie Foushee; and John Hope Bryant, Chairman of Operation HOPE; Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, City of Raleigh 
  • Location: Estey Hall, Shaw University 

1:30 PM – Fireside chat with Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo: 

  • In-depth conversation about the Administration’s efforts to deliver capital to underserved communities, Treasury’s investments in Black financial institutions, and the legacy of Freedman’s Bank. 
  • Moderated by John Hope Bryant, Chairman of Operation HOPE, featuring Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo  
  • Location: Estey Hall, Shaw University 

2:00 – 2:10 PM – Opening remarks and introduction to the panel:  

  • Speakers include: Carolina Ferrerosa Young, Ph.D., Chief Economic Advisor, White House Office of the Vice President; Congresswoman Valerie Foushee, North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District  
  • Location: Estey Hall, Shaw University 

2:10 PM – Panel discussion:  

  • This panel will delve into how local and regional organizations in Raleigh are using funds from national initiatives to increase capital and tech assistance among Black entrepreneurs. 
  • Moderated by Armer Kenchen, NC Rural Center, featuring Travis Rouse, M&F Bank; Crystal German, Self-Help Credit Union; Roberta McCullough, Institute Capital · National Institute of Minority Economic Development 
  • Location: Estey Hall, Shaw University 

2:55 PM – Closing remarks:  

  • Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, Assistant to the President, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement will deliver closing remarks. 

3:00 PM – Open house:  

  • Booths and resources will be present from local organizations such as Operation Hope, M&F Bank, Shaw University Entrepreneurship Center, NC IDEA, Self Help Credit Union, and the City of Raleigh to provide information and support for small businesses. Interagency partners participating include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, the Minority Business Development Agency and the Small Business Administration,  
  • Location: Estey Hall, President Conference Room, Shaw University 

What: Freedman’s Bank Summer Symposium – Raleigh, NC 

Who: U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo
Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, Assistant to the President, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement  
Carolina Ferrerosa Young, Ph.D., Chief Economic Advisor, White House Office of the Vice President 
Governor of North Carolina Roy Cooper 
Dr. Paulette Dillard, President, Shaw University 
Congresswoman Valerie Foushee, North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District  
Chairman John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE 
Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, City of Raleigh  
Mayor Leonardo Williams, City of Durham  

When: July 12, 2024, at 1:00 pm  

Where: Shaw University, Raleigh, NC 
118 E South St, Raleigh, NC 27601 

Press: Media interested in covering this event can RSVP to [email protected] 

A livestream will be available here.

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The United States and Indonesia Sign $35 Million Debt Swap Agreement to Support Coral Reef Ecosystems

WASHINGTON – The United States of America, the Republic of Indonesia, and four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara, and Yayasan Konservasi Cakrawala Indonesia) signed debt-for-nature swap and coral reef conservation agreements under the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act (TFCCA) on July 3, 2024. When implemented, the agreements will reduce Indonesia’s debt payments to the United States Government by $35 million over the next nine years. In return, the Government of Indonesia has committed these funds to support grants to protect and restore the country’s coral reef ecosystems through the establishment of a conservation fund. Local NGOs will use grants from the conservation fund to support projects that directly benefit the coral reef ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. The fund administrator for the new 2024 coral reef conservation agreement is Yayasan Keanekaragaman Hayati Indonesia (KEHATI), a national organization with a 30 year track record in terrestrial and marine conservation.

The swap is made possible by contributions from the U.S. Government under the TFCCA, CI, and TNC. Grants provided under the TFCCA program will support activities such as conserving protected areas, improving natural resource management, and supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities that rely on coral reef ecosystems.

“Indonesia is home to some of the most biologically diverse coral reef ecosystems in the world that support the livelihoods of millions of Indonesians. The U.S. Department of Treasury is committed to advancing efforts that protect valuable ecosystems while promoting economic development. The strong collaboration among the United States Government, the Republic of Indonesia, and our NGO partners has made this important agreement possible,” said Assistant Secretary for International Trade and Development, Alexia Latortue.

This new Indonesia agreement marks the 23rd TFCCA deal, following agreements with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica (two agreements), El Salvador (two agreements), Guatemala, Indonesia (three agreements), Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru (three agreements) and the Philippines (two agreements). Indonesia benefitted from earlier debt-for-nature swaps with the United States in 2009, 2011 and 2014 that collectively over time generated nearly $70 million for the restoration, conservation, management, and sustainable use of tropical forests. Across all countries, over time, these debt-for-nature programs together will generate more than $415 million to protect tropical forests and coral reef ecosystems.

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su to Travel to Philadelphia to Highlight Actions to Create Good-Paying Clean Energy Jobs and Expand Access to Capital for Small Businesses

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, July 10, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to discuss how the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic agenda is creating good-paying clean energy jobs and continuing the historic small business boom by expanding access to capital.  

Deputy Secretary Adeyemo will highlight the Treasury Department’s recently released final rules on the Inflation Reduction Act’s prevailing wage and registered apprenticeship requirements to help build a strong pipeline of skilled workers to support the growth of the clean energy economy and ensure clean energy jobs are good-paying jobs. Investments in clean energy projects announced since the passage of the law in 2022 are projected to create more than 270,000 jobs, and studies estimate that more than 1.5 million additional jobs will be created over the next decade. 

To discuss the impact of these rules, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo will visit Sheetmetal Workers’ Union Local 19, which represents more than 4,300 skilled and licensed workers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware who provide skilled professionals for the residential, commercial, and industrial sheet metal industry. 

Deputy Secretary Adeyemo will also highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic actions to expand access to capital for financially underserved rural and urban communities through community development financial institutions (CDFIs). 

Wednesday, July 10

At 10:30 AM ET, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo will convene a roundtable in the Philadelphia offices of Community First Fund, a private, independent non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) working to provide capital to small business leaders in underserved communities. The roundtable will focus on how the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to secure historic support for community lenders have helped Pennsylvania small businesses grow and thrive.  

At 1:30 PM ET, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su will tour a training facility operated by Sheet Metal Workers’ Local #19 to discuss Biden-Harris Administration actions to create good-paying clean energy jobs and expand the clean energy workforce, highlighting the Treasury Department’s recently released final rules on prevailing wages and registered apprenticeship requirements. Following the tour, both officials will have open media availability. This event is open to press who RSVP to [email protected]

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Treasury Issues Proposed Rule to Expand CFIUS Coverage of Real Estate Transactions Near Military Installations

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM or proposed rule) that would expand CFIUS’s jurisdiction over certain transactions by foreign persons involving real estate in the United States. Pursuant to legislation that Congress passed in 2018, CFIUS has the authority to review certain real estate transactions near specified military installations and to take action in appropriate circumstances. This proposed rule would add over 50 military installations, across 30 states, to the existing list of installations around which CFIUS has jurisdiction, including over land purchases. This latest update would vastly expand the reach of CFIUS’s real estate jurisdiction, while maintaining its sharp focus on national security.

“President Biden and I remain committed to using our strong investment screening tool to defend America’s national security, including actions that protect military installations from external threats. CFIUS plays an integral role in U.S. national security by thoroughly reviewing real estate transactions near sensitive military installations, and this proposed rule will significantly expand its jurisdiction and ability to accomplish this vital mission,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.

“Today’s proposed rule is another example of CFIUS’s continuing commitment to hone our tools to protect U.S. national security, and is a significant milestone in safeguarding critical U.S. military installations,” said Assistant Secretary for Investment Security Paul Rosen. “Working closely with the U.S. Department of Defense and other CFIUS members, we will remain responsive to the evolving nature of the risks we face to ensure we are protecting our military installations and related defense assets.”

CFIUS jurisdiction over real estate transactions, provided by Congress in the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), allows CFIUS to review the purchase or lease by, or concession to, a foreign person of real estate in the United States that is in close proximity to a military installation or another facility or property of the United States Government that is sensitive for reasons relating to national security; could reasonably provide the foreign person the ability to collect intelligence on activities being conducted at such an installation, facility, or property; or could otherwise expose national security activities at such an installation, facility, or property to the risk of foreign surveillance. The CFIUS regulations governing real estate transactions identify a subset of military installations around which certain real estate transactions are covered under CFIUS’s jurisdiction.

The U.S. Department of Defense (Department of Defense), a member of CFIUS, continuously assesses its military installations and the geographic scope established under the CFIUS regulations to ensure appropriate application in light of national security considerations. This proposed rule is the result of a recent comprehensive assessment conducted by the Department of Defense regarding its military installations. The proposed rule would enhance CFIUS’s authorities through the following key changes:

  • Expand CFIUS’s jurisdiction over real estate transactions to include those within a one-mile radius around 40 additional military installations;
  • Expand CFIUS’s jurisdiction over real estate transactions to include those within a 100-mile radius around 19 additional military installations;
  • Expand CFIUS’s jurisdiction over real estate transactions between 1 mile and 100 miles around eight military installations already listed in the regulations;
  • Update the names of 14 military installations already listed in the regulations to better assist the public in identifying the relevant sites; and
  • Update the location of seven military installations already listed in the current regulations to better assist the public in identifying the relevant sites.

Treasury encourages the public to submit written comments in response to the proposed rule. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following the NPRM’s publication in the Federal Register.

The NPRM is available at https://www.cfius.gov/.

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Remarks by Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson at the Pacific Banking Forum

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning, it’s great to be here with you all in Brisbane.  I am Brian Nelson, the U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  The offices I lead deploy the United States’ financial intelligence, regulatory, enforcement, and accountability tools to combat terrorist financing, money laundering, and other urgent illicit finance threats. 

This work is critical to safeguarding the U.S. and international financial systems from those who misuse it and undermine U.S. national security.  It is one of the Treasury Department’s core missions, along with advancing a strong economy that promotes growth, fairness, and opportunity for all. 

I am joining you here today to discuss how these two missions intersect, and how we can collectively take steps to safeguard our financial systems while also promoting greater financial inclusion and integration. 

As we will discuss over the next two days, the importance of advancing these two missions is apparent in the Pacific, where the evolution of certain correspondent banking relationships has undermined financial access and stability among some Pacific Island countries.  

This worrying trend of financial sector de-risking was a key theme of Prime Minister Albanese’s visit to Washington last October, and it is one that we are committed to working with partners to address. 

We recognize the economic and strategic significance of the Pacific region, and we are committed to deepening our engagement and collaboration with our allies and partners to bolster financial connectivity, investment, and integration. 

That is why we have gathered here this week: to convene government and the private sector in order to advance creative, collective solutions for combatting de-risking in the Pacific.  

To kick us off, I will offer a few reflections on how the Treasury Department understands and is working to address this challenge, before describing steps we are taking at home to strengthen our AML/CFT regime in order to safeguard the U.S. and international financial systems.  

The rest of the U.S. Treasury team and I look forward to working with you on these issues, as well as hearing expert views and approaches that we all bring to the table.  

Financial Integration 

International financial integration is a key driver of economic development, opportunity, and stability.  Across countries and regions, we have seen over decades the varied ways in which this integration—often enabled by correspondent banking relationships—has created the conditions for strong, sustainable, and inclusive economies.  

By linking countries’ economies to the global financial system—and in particular the U.S. financial system, which remains the world’s largest—correspondent banking has contributed to healthy market competition in the financial services sector. 

Correspondent banking has helped to bolster international trade by reducing financial friction and allowing for quick and low-cost transactions across borders. 

At the macro-level, correspondent banking has facilitated large-scale foreign investment, including financing for infrastructure and development projects, while also helping countries make their financial systems more resilient.

And at the micro-level, correspondent banking has helped individuals more easily and affordably send funds—including remittances—across borders.

Beyond the economic benefits, correspondent banking relationships help funnel cross-border financial activity through regulated banking channels—decreasing AML/CFT risk and putting downward pressure on the unregulated money transfer market. 

There is a lot to be gained by promoting financial integration around the world. But conversely, when correspondent banking relationships dwindle, the consequences can be substantial. 

Last year, Treasury released its De-Risking Strategy, which studied the phenomenon of financial institutions terminating or restricting business relationships indiscriminately with broad categories of customers rather than analyzing and managing the risk of those customers, in line with their regulatory obligations.  The strategy highlights some of the serious harms that can come when de-risking occurs.  

De-risking—and the weakening of international financial ties more broadly—can impede financial access and inclusion for significant populations, drive financial activity into unregulated financial systems, inhibit investment and trade, and undermine financial stability and resilience.

De-Risking in the Pacific 

I know that many of the people and countries represented in this room are no strangers to the damage done by de-risking.  In line with the principles set out by President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese, we recognize and are committed to addressing bank de-risking across the Pacific. 

We share the concerns that Pacific Island countries are experiencing among the most serious declines in correspondent banking relationships in the world.  The vast and dispersed geography of the region makes correspondent banking even more critical for clearing foreign exchange payments, promoting trade and development, and facilitating remittance flows.  This geography can also, however, make it difficult and expensive for banks to offer services to each island. 

As the leaders here know, data suggests that, over the past decade, the number of correspondent banking relationships in the Pacific has declined at twice the rate of the global average.  These terminations of correspondent banking relationships can be calamitous, given that many Pacific Island countries receive approximately 10 percent of their collective GDP in the form of personal remittances. 

This trend has undermined the resilience of certain Pacific Island financial systems, with some countries having only one correspondent bank.  In cases like these, de-risking can become a critical macro-economic issue, with jurisdictions hanging by a single financial thread. 

Strengthening AML/CFT Frameworks 

We understand that the story of de-risking in the Pacific is not only about AML/CFT risk. Even so, one of the key ways that countries can work to prevent de-risking is by taking steps to strengthen their AML/CFT frameworks, in line with international standards. 

Doing so can help increase banks’ willingness to provide services in certain markets, while also making countries’ financial systems more attractive to foreign investment, development financing, and trade. 

In Washington, we recognize that we have significant vulnerabilities in our own AML/CFT system that illicit actors exploit to launder or move illicit proceeds, and we are undertaking a historic set of reforms not only to safeguard our financial system, but also to clarify AML/CFT regulatory obligations for U.S. banks and other businesses operating in the United States.

While the Treasury team will speak at greater length over the next few days about some of the substantial initiatives that we’re undertaking, I will highlight a few efforts in particular: 

First, in January, Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, operationalized our new beneficial ownership e-filing system and began accepting reports.  This new reporting framework requires many companies doing business in the United States to report information to FinCEN about the individuals who ultimately own or control them.  By increasing corporate transparency, we are addressing the single-largest deficiency in our AML/CFT regime and working to prevent the misuse of anonymous companies in the United States.

Second, we are advancing a series of vital reforms aimed at increasing the transparency of the residential real estate market and the investment adviser sector—both of which have been exploited by bad actors to launder and hide the proceeds of corruption, fraud, sanctions evasion, and other illicit activities in the United States.  We published proposed rules relating to these sectors back in February and are working hard to finalize them.

Third—and most importantly for the purposes of this forum—the proposed rule that FinCEN published earlier last week includes proposed revisions to financial institutions’ AML/CFT program requirements.  This rulemaking aims to help financial institutions be more flexible in managing and mitigating their risks, including by helping them to focus their resources and attention accordingly prioritizing their highest-risk services and customer activities.

FinCEN, the U.S. federal banking agencies, and others have long encouraged financial institutions to carry out their AML/CFT obligations in line with their risks.  This proposed rule, however, would formalize this expectation by explicitly requiring financial institutions to conduct risk assessments, which would serve as the basis for their broader AML/CFT programs. 

This is an important first step in a multi-year effort to that aims to make the United States’ AML/CFT framework more effective, risk-based, and flexible. 

Taken together, these initiatives represent among the most significant updates to the United States’ AML/CFT regime in decades, aimed at making our financial system safer and our AML/CFT obligations more flexible and effective.  Throughout this forum, we’ll explain these initiatives further to help clarify some of the regulatory obligations that we are proposing or have put in place.  We hope these efforts can give banks and other financial institutions greater confidence about their efforts to manage—rather than avoid—risk.

The Pacific Banking Forum 

While countries’ efforts to strengthen AML/CFT regimes are important for combatting de-risking, there are no easy or straightforward solutions to addressing this challenge—especially in a region as vast and diverse as the Pacific. 

As our de-risking strategy from last year notes, collaboration and collective action among public and private stakeholders remains the most effective path to prevent the categorical termination of banking relationships.

This logic informs this week’s Pacific Banking Forum—bringing together representatives from government, the private sector, international financial institutions, regulators, central banks, and others—in order to approach this issue from different perspectives and discuss creative solutions for addressing it.

We all share the same goal: to advance an architecture that allows for broad, inclusive, and frictionless financial access across the region.  This week, we will work to forge new partnerships and frameworks to deliver on this vision. Thank you.  

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Virtual Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at the Pacific Banking Forum

As Prepared for Delivery 

It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the Pacific Banking Forum. 

As President Biden has made clear, the United States is committed to an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. A strong and connected Pacific region has benefits for the United States and for the global economy. And when President Biden hosted Prime Minister Albanese at the White House last October, they particularly stressed the importance of increasing economic connectivity, development, and opportunity across the Pacific. A key part of achieving that is making sure people and businesses in the region have access to the global financial system. This event furthers that shared goal. 

Our key focus here is on supporting the Pacific region’s economic resilience, including through strengthening access to correspondent banks. Correspondent banking increases opportunity for everyday people, facilitating the flow of remittances and enabling greater financial inclusion. It can also deliver broader benefits to Pacific Islands countries and to the region as a whole. It promotes healthy market competition in the financial services sector; facilitates trade financed through regional and global financial centers; enables financing for infrastructure and development projects; and helps to make economies and financial systems more resilient to shocks. 

It’s crucial that we have opportunities to discuss these issues and drive progress. Last fall, at the U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit in Washington, D.C., I appreciated hearing firsthand from Pacific Islands leaders about your economic priorities and challenges, including correspondent bank withdrawals. I left with even more resolve that the Treasury Department should do all it can to help improve the resilience of your banking and financial systems so that they remain integrated with the global economy. 

We have continued to engage with you on this since. This past March, Treasury entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, solidifying our commitment to strengthening Pacific capacity to address correspondent banking needs. We are also closely engaged with the World Bank to explore durable solutions at a regional scale and to support AML/CFT improvements across the Pacific. I see this Forum as another opportunity to move our work forward. 

Convening a forum with such a wide array of stakeholders and global reach is no easy task. I would like to thank our Australian partners for graciously hosting this event in Brisbane and bringing together governing agencies and regulators. I would also like to thank the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Pacific Islands member countries for your strong collaboration and commitment to sharing information and jointly working on solutions. Let me also recognize the banks, other financial institutions, and many other organizations who are joining this week. You play a crucial role in strengthening the financial infrastructure in the region and have crucial perspectives as well. 

Again, a warm welcome to all participants. We are united by a commitment to strengthening correspondent banking across the Pacific and realizing the benefits that will bring. I wish you a productive discussion and very much look forward to hearing the outcomes of this important dialogue.                                      

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READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s Call with United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen held a call with United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves. During the call, Secretary Yellen congratulated Chancellor Reeves on her historic appointment as the first female Chancellor of the Exchequer and highlighted the importance of the U.S.-UK bilateral relationship. Secretary Yellen and Chancellor Reeves discussed their governments’ respective economic strategies, and Secretary Yellen highlighted the success of a modern supply side economic approach to generating strong economic growth through historic investments in the United States. Secretary Yellen also emphasized continued close coordination between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the G7 on a range of shared priorities, including collective efforts to unlock the value of immobilized Russian sovereign assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction, work together in the Indo-Pacific, and a shared approach to addressing the situation in the Middle East. 

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Under Secretary Nelson to Travel to Brisbane, Australia for the Pacific Banking Forum

WASHINGTON – From July 8 – 10, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson will travel to Brisbane, Australia as the U.S. Department of the Treasury co-hosts the Pacific Banking Forum with the Government of Australia. While in Brisbane, he will also participate in a series of bilateral meetings with officials from Pacific nations and other partners in attendance.

The United States and Australia are proud Pacific nations with a shared vision to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient Pacific region. During Australia’s State Visit in October 2023, President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Albanese committed to supporting sustainable access to banking services across the Pacific and, in consultation with the countries of the region, jointly launched the Pacific Banking Forum to achieve this objective.

The Pacific Banking Forum will bring together policymakers, regulators, commercial banks, technical experts, and other stakeholders to support the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat’s correspondent banking initiatives. It will address the urgent problem of ‘de-risking’ and the decline of correspondent banking relationships in the Pacific, which affect the ability of local banks to connect with international financial institutions and access cross-border payment services.

According to Treasury’s 2023 National Derisking Strategy, de-risking occurs when financial institutions terminate or restrict business relationships indiscriminately with broad categories of customers rather than analyzing and managing the risk of those customers. De-risking undermines several key U.S. government policy objectives by driving financial activity out of the regulated financial system, hampering remittances, preventing low- and middle-income segments of the population from efficiently accessing the financial system, and preventing the unencumbered transfer of humanitarian aid and disaster relief. The forum will convene government and the private sector in order to advance creative, collective solutions for combatting de-risking in the Pacific.

Last fall, Secretary Yellen met with Pacific Islands leaders during the US-Pacific Islands Forum Summit, where she reaffirmed Treasury’s commitment to work together to mitigate threats to Pacific countries’ macro-financial stability, including through addressing the impacts of a changing climate, promoting fiscal sustainability, and strengthening correspondent banking relationships in the region. The United States and Australia will continue working to support Pacific Island efforts to build health and economic resilience and advancing a positive vision for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

On Monday July 8th at 9:10 AM AEST / July 7th at 7:10 PM EDT, Secretary Yellen will deliver pre-recorded virtual remarks to the forum.

At 9:15 AM AEST, Under Secretary Nelson will deliver keynote remarks at the Pacific Banking Forum on Treasury’s efforts to address de-risking and promote financial inclusion and connectivity in the Pacific.

Remarks are open to the press; media interested in attending or arranging an interview with Under Secretary Nelson should contact [email protected].

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READOUT: Meeting of White House, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Stakeholders for the Initiative for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, June 25, the Office of the Vice President and the U.S. Department of the Treasury co-hosted a stakeholder meeting for the Initiative for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (IIE), an 18-month national pilot program that Vice President Harris announced at Treasury’s 2022 Freedman’s Bank Forum to expand access to capital for small businesses that have lacked opportunity and need additional investment to grow and hire. IIE brings in philanthropic and private capital to maximize the impact of Treasury’s nearly $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), authorized under the American Rescue Plan. 

During the meeting, senior White House officials highlighted the Administration’s multifaceted efforts to expand capital access for underserved entrepreneurs. Stakeholders also provided an update on IIE’s pilot program, which concludes on June 30, 2024. 

During the pilot program, IIE has deployed over $10 million to support capacity building and create opportunities for more inclusive program design and delivery; generated more than $177 million in loans, loan matches, grants, and private capital for underserved small businesses and emerging fund managers; and reached nearly 3,200 small businesses. In addition, IIE has launched targeted investment vehicles to raise the private match capital required to leverage SSCBI funds, including the Indigenous Futures Fund, which aims to raise $100 million to help Native entrepreneurs launch and grow their small businesses. 

Participants from the White House and Treasury Department include: Carolina Ferrerosa Young, Ph.D., Chief Economic Advisor, Office of the Vice President; Jon Donenberg, Deputy Director, National Economic Council; Sophie Sahaf, Director of Economic Mobility, Domestic Policy Council; and Janis Bowdler, Counselor for Racial Equity at the Treasury Department.  

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U.S. Department of the Treasury Announces $97 Million Investment to Support Small Business Success in Alabama

Approval of State Small Business Credit Initiative Funding is Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of Alabama’s state plan for up to $97 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). SSBCI provides funding to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to support small business and entrepreneurship and expand access to capital.  

“Expanding access to capital is key to continuing the historic small business boom that’s occurred under President Biden,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “We are helping entrepreneurs across the country unlock access and opportunity, and we’re excited to expand this work to include Alabama’s small businesses – providing collateral, supporting venture capital programs, and reaching communities in need of investment.”

Reauthorized and expanded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, SSBCI includes nearly $10 billion to support small businesses and entrepreneurship in communities across the United States by providing capital and technical assistance to promote small business stability, growth, and success. It provides funds to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments for those jurisdictions to create tailored programs that offer funding to small businesses and entrepreneurs through equity/venture capital, loan participation, loan guarantee, collateral support, and capital access programs.

Alabama, approved for up to $97.9 million, will operate five programs: a loan guarantee program, a collateral support program, a loan participation program, and two equity/venture capital programs. Alabama allocated approximately $26.9 million to the Innovate Alabama Collateral Support Program, which will use SSBCI funds to create cash collateral accounts with participating lenders to enhance loan collateral where a collateral shortfall exists. The Innovate Alabama Co-Investment Program, allocated $16 million, will make direct investments in early-stage companies, while the Innovate Alabama Fund-of-Funds Program, allocated $9 million, will provide equity capital support to small businesses by investing in multiple venture capital funds as a limited partner. The equity/venture capital programs include a focus on reaching startups traditionally overlooked by venture capitalists, including companies led by women and minority entrepreneurs and those located in Alabama’s distressed communities, as well as venture capital funds dedicated to reaching underserved businesses.

The work the Treasury Department has done through SSBCI’s implementation process to help these funds reach traditionally underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs will continue to be critical to ensuring the small business boom lifts up communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

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