Bremer Bank's Community Reinvestment Activites Earn 'Outstanding" Rating
St. Paul, Minn - October 9, 2009 - In the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Bremer Bank Wisconsin received a rating of ‘Outstanding’ for its Community Reinvestment efforts. This rating – the highest regulatory rating possible – recognizes Bremer’s efforts to meet or exceed community needs in the areas of small business lending, financial education and affordable housing.
“Bremer Bank was founded on the principle that direct investment in our communities is critical if they are to maintain their health and vitality,” said Dan Draxler, president of Bremer Bank Wisconsin. “At Bremer, we are committed to building healthy communities through partnerships and we are proud of our long-standing investment in the health of those communities.”
The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 required banks to meet the credit needs of all the communities where they do business, especially low-to-moderate income communities and families.
Bremer received an overall “Outstanding” rating in the exam’s Lending test category (mortgages, small business, and community development for affordable housing and economic development); and was rated a High Satisfactory for Services (retail banking stores, alternative delivery channels, and financial outreach); and Investments (funding capital and grants to community organizations). “Given the challenging economic environment of the past few years, it’s very gratifying to have earned this outstanding rating, particularly in the area of lending,” said Draxler.
The exam period included CRA performance from 2004 through 2008. Highlights of the exam included:
• A substantial portion of Bremer’s loans reflect excellent responsiveness in relation to the identified credit needs and the bank’s deposit market share.
• Bremer’s market share of home loans to low-and moderate-income borrowers exceeds their overall market share and represents excellent performance.
• Bremer’s share of small loans to businesses with revenues of less than $1 million exceeded their market share and represents excellent performance.
• Bremer is a leader in providing community development services in the Wisconsin. The bank works with multiple nonprofit organizations and housing agencies to address the issues of affordable housing and foreclosure prevention.
Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held, $7.6 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF). Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services to more than 100 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. OBF uses its share of dividends to distribute charitable grants to Bremer Bank communities. In 2008, more than $30 million in charitable donations were given across the Bremer footprint and employees donated nearly 93,000 volunteer hours to their communities. For more information, go to bremer.com.