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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding NationsBank and BankAmerica

Friday, July 10, 1998

Transcript of Panel Twenty-Five

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        18            MR. PAPAN:   It's a good thing I had to make 

        19   one stop before I got here.

        20            In any event, I'd like to thank the Reserve 

        21   Board for the opportunity of coming to testify with 

        22   regard to this merger.  I, for one, feel that Bank of 

        23   America is California, and I would feel strongly that 

        24   what the Bank of America has done in California, it 

        25   should be part of the merger when it's completed.  

        26            To make it a little more specific, the Community 
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         1   Development Bank has been a very important part of Bank 

         2   of America's activities in California.  I'd like to see 

         3   that this merger enhances that same kind of activity 

         4   after the merger as has occurred prior to the merger.  

         5   And I think Bank of America could possibly do a lot to 

         6   implement what they have done in California.

         7            The resources that presently are at their 

         8   disposal, which I have been made to understand is -- the 

         9   merger will mean a 3.5 billion dollar bank.  And if we 

        10   could have somewhere around eight percent in the 

        11   activities of the Developmental Community Bank and 

        12   also Bank of America is known for its work, benevolent 

        13   work, on the Bank of America Foundation, Bank of 

        14   America's Rural 2000.  Are the three programs that I just 

        15   cited.  I think a concerted effort should be made to 

        16   continue those on a larger scale after the merger.  

        17            I have some concerns about the fact that we are 

        18   seeing the seat of a California -- of Bank of America 

        19   moving to somewhere else when it is so much a part of our 

        20   banking scene here in California.  Hopefully they are 

        21   sensitive to the possible idea that there be disruptions 

        22   with regards to employment.  I really believe that a lot 

        23   of attention should be paid as to how they're going to 

        24   implement their merger and how it's going to impact the 

        25   people that are presently working here in California.  

        26            I personally feel that the resources that the 
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         1   Bank of America has generated here in California support 

         2   the idea that banks, in general, are nothing more than a 

         3   clearinghouse for public money.  And the sensitivity to 

         4   that principal or the sensitivity to the idea that banks 

         5   are a clearinghouse for public money should be 

         6   implemented in the sense that California should not be

         7   hurt by this merger.

         8            If there are additional resources to come into 

         9   California as a result of the merger, I would most 

        10   appreciate the sensitivity that goes with being the most 

        11   popular state in the union and a lot of their activities, 

        12   although their seat of their operations will be somewhere 

        13   else, that they pay close attention to the fact that we 

        14   are a lot of people here, and we need a lot of 

        15   attention.

        16            We are, as you all know, the most agricultural 

        17   state in the union so that Bank of America's Rural 2000 

        18   is something that the new merger should not change and it 

        19   should enhance it if -- to a greater degree.  Those 

        20   resources that this merger will bring I feel can help 

        21   California a great deal.

        22            I think our management here has been something 

        23   that I, for one, being chairman of banking, having met 

        24   Mr. Coulter and seeing how sensitive he has been to the 

        25   needs of our people and to the enrichment of banking in 

        26   California by his chairmanship is something that I think 
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         1   is -- it's my understanding that you're going to 

         2   alternate the CEO or they're going to alternate the CEO 

         3   position.  And I want to make certain, for one, that if 

         4   Federal Reserve is going to oversee it that they -- what 

         5   they made public should be implemented.  

         6            MS. SMITH:    Okay.  Thank you very much, 

         7   Assemblyman Papan, for coming by this afternoon.  I know 

         8   you have a very busy schedule.  

         9            MR. PAPAN:   Well, I was hoping you could give 

        10   us some money for the budget.  But in any event, we have 

        11   our share of the surplus, so I don't think we need money 

        12   per se.  I do thank you for the opportunity of addressing 

        13   the panel.  

        14            MS. SMITH:    Thank you very much for coming 

        15   by.  

        16            MR. PAPAN:   Thank you.  

        17            MS. SMITH:    And with that, we'll go to 

        18   Mr. Baker.  

        19            MR. BAKER:   Thank you.  My name is Joseph 

        20   Baker, and I'm from the School-to-Career offices of the 

        21   San Francisco Unified School District.  The San Francisco 

        22   School-to-Career Partnership is an effort by the San 

        23   Francisco Unified School District, the San Francisco 

        24   Chamber of Commerce, and City College of San Francisco to 

        25   combine the knowledge and experience of education, 

        26   business, and government leaders to better prepare public 
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         1   high school students for their futures as college 

         2   students, members of the American work force, and 

         3   beyond.  

         4            Key aspects of the School-to-Career Partnership 

         5   include raising educational standards; identifying the 

         6   skills needed for success in further education and in the 

         7   workplace and ensuring high aspiration among all 

         8   students; integrating school and work; linking students' 

         9   classroom learning with experiences in the workplace and 

        10   in the community; ensuring students are exposed to a full 

        11   range of career opportunities, which include internships, 

        12   job shadowing experiences, internships for teachers, and

        13   site tours; evaluating progress and success; setting 

        14   goals and creating measurement tools to track and assess 

        15   the School-to-Career Partnership system; and finally 

        16   system building, connecting and expanding upon existing 

        17   school, community, government, and corporate programs 

        18   which serve to educate and prepare San Francisco youth 

        19   for career successes.  

        20            The Academy of Business and Finance is a San 

        21   Francisco School District career pathway which is a 

        22   component of the San Francisco School-to-Career 

        23   Partnership.  The Academy of Business and Finance 

        24   currently offers over 1,200 students at seven public high 

        25   schools with the opportunity to explore careers in 

        26   business and the financial services industry while 
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         1   developing the skills necessary for success in any 

         2   career.

         3            Students take rigorous academic courses, 

         4   participate in tours of businesses, work on improving 

         5   academic skills with a business mentor, work as an 

         6   intern, and take college courses in their senior year.

         7            The key to the success of the Academy of 

         8   Business and Finance program is a quality community 

         9   partnership.  An active advisory board consisting of 

        10   business executives, college partners, community 

        11   representatives, high school teachers, students, and

        12   others support and guide the program.  Training for 

        13   teachers, mentors, internships, financial support, and 

        14   assessment of the programs are all provided by this 

        15   partnership.

        16            The Academy of Business and Finance is a member 

        17   program of the National Academy Foundation based in New 

        18   York which has developed a national network of over 500 

        19   model School-to-Career programs.  

        20            This program is today at the forefront of the 

        21   school-to-work movement.  It is a focus of and model for 

        22   educational reform efforts in this community.  In San 

        23   Francisco, of the 18,962 high school students, 42 percent 

        24   are identified as educationally disadvantaged, 27 percent 

        25   receive free or reduced lunch, 24 percent are limited or 

        26   non-English speaking, and over 80 percent are identified 
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         1   as members of minority populations.  While the students 

         2   participating in the Academy of Business and Finance 

         3   program reflect the same diversity, over 94 percent 

         4   continue on to college.  

         5            Bank of America and their support for the 

         6   School-to-Career programs in San Francisco.  Bank of 

         7   America and Bank of America Foundation have served as key 

         8   factors in the support of School-to-Career programs 

         9   nationally and in San Francisco.  On a national level, 

        10   Bank of America's participation on the national employer 

        11   leadership council and in the development of national 

        12   skill standards in banking has set a standard of 

        13   corporate leadership in developing tools to assist 

        14   educators.  Bank of America supported the development of 

        15   model School-to-Career programs in many communities to 

        16   promote educational reform and economic development.  

        17            In San Francisco, Bank of America has a long 

        18   history of supporting public education.  Bank of America 

        19   currently sponsors paid internships for high school 

        20   students, scholarships, grants to support program 

        21   development, and other services that directly impact 

        22   education and improves the lives of young people involved 

        23   in San Francisco and School-to-Career programs.

        24            Bank of America provides business advisory board 

        25   leadership for the Academy of Business and Finance.  

        26   Employees throughout the bank have served as mentors and 
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         1   donated vast amounts of time to help students with such 

         2   things as resume writing and interviewing skills.  Other 

         3   employees have volunteered as speakers, provided tours, 

         4   or worked with teachers to improve curriculum.  

         5            Through our participation in the National 

         6   Academy Foundation, we have become aware that NationsBank 

         7   also supports School-to-Career in many communities, which 

         8   include Dallas, Tampa, St. Louis, Kansas City just to 

         9   name a few.  

        10            I must note that Bank of America also was the 

        11   first to seize upon a recent ruling by the OCC and 

        12   supported by the Federal Reserve Bank in which student 

        13   internships were identified as giving a bank Community 

        14   Reinvestment Act credit, and the bank seized upon this 

        15   opportunity to increase their support to the San 

        16   Francisco schools.  

        17            In conclusion, Bank of America's support for the 

        18   San Francisco School-to-Career program and the Academy of 

        19   Business and Finance has had a great and positive impact 

        20   on thousands of high school students.  The 

        21   School-to-Career office of the San Francisco Unified 

        22   School District sincerely believes the merger between 

        23   NationsBank and Bank of America will greatly increase the 

        24   School-to-Career Partnership's ability to provide quality 

        25   educational opportunities to San Francisco's young people 

        26   and will create a more diverse work force for the 
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         1   financial services industry in the 21st century.

         2            It is for these reasons that the 

         3   School-to-Career office of the San Francisco Unified 

         4   School District wholeheartedly supports a merger between 

         5   NationsBank and Bank of America.  We thank the Federal 

         6   Reserve Board for the opportunity to express this 

         7   support.  

         8            MS. SMITH:    Thank you.  Ms. McKee.

         9            MS. McKEE:   Thank you for this opportunity to 

        10   testify.  I am Michele McKee, planner with Community 

        11   Services Agency Development Corporation, CSADC, in Reno,

        12   Nevada.  CSADC is a private, nonprofit human services 

        13   corporation which has been operating in the state of 

        14   Nevada for 33 years.

        15            During the past seven years, CSADC has focused a 

        16   major portion of its energy in developing affordable 

        17   housing opportunities for low-income and working poor 

        18   populations in Nevada.  Our housing efforts actually 

        19   originated with a 10,000-dollar pre-development grant 

        20   received from Bank of America in 1991.  Since that time, 

        21   CSADC has constructed 11 projects consisting of 801 units 

        22   of affordable housing and is currently developing an 

        23   additional 200 units within the state.

        24            While our primary focus is on increasing the 

        25   availability of affordable housing, our secondary focus 

        26   has been to maintain and improve the quality of life in 
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         1   communities and neighborhoods in Nevada.  Our high 

         2   quality construction projects are located in desirable 

         3   areas of town and blend with existing architecture and 

         4   amenities, making them indistinguishable from market rate

         5   apartment complexes in the same neighborhoods.  The 

         6   Builders Association of Northern Nevada recognized one of 

         7   our most recent developments with their High Standards 

         8   Award for 1997.

         9            While CSADC has developed formal relationships 

        10   with a number of Nevada financial institutions, the 

        11   relationship formed with Bank of America has been, by 

        12   far, the most successful.  The Bank of America Community 

        13   Development Bank provided construction financing on nine 

        14   of our 11 projects for a total of $26.8 million and 

        15   provided permanent financing on one project for a total

        16   of 1.2 million.  CSADC utilizes the Bank of America 

        17   Community Development Bank financing primarily because of 

        18   its favorable loan terms and the responsiveness of its 

        19   knowledgeable and committed staff.

        20            Another CSADC project supported by Bank of 

        21   America has been our first-time home buyer program.  In 

        22   the last four years, CSADC has provided down payment and 

        23   closing cost assistance to 203 low-income families in 

        24   Reno purchasing their first home through this program.  

        25   Bank of America Mortgage has been the most active lending 

        26   participant in the program, generating 60 of the 203 
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         1   loans or 30 percent of all loans combined.  Again, this 

         2   is due largely to the high level of support and knowledge 

         3   of our program demonstrated by Bank of America staff, as 

         4   well as the favorable lending criteria which Bank of 

         5   America has developed for its affordable loan programs.  

         6            Bank of America staff were actively involved in 

         7   the development of our pre-purchase counseling program 

         8   and donated approximately eight hours per month of staff 

         9   time to assist CSADC in the actual provision of the 

        10   counseling.  The Bank of America Foundation has also 

        11   provided administrative support in the amount of $5,000 

        12   on an annual basis for this program.

        13            One of the most recent important initiatives on 

        14   which CSADC and Bank of America are working is the Bank 

        15   of America Rural 2000 initiative.  Three of CSADC's 

        16   affordable housing projects mentioned before were 

        17   developed in rural Nevada, utilizing Bank of America 

        18   Community Development Bank financing.  

        19            As you may be aware, due to the small population 

        20   and cyclical mining economic base of rural Nevada, 

        21   financing is hard to come by for any type of housing 

        22   development.  In fact, even now approximately 40 percent 

        23   of all housing in rural Nevada consists of mobile homes.

        24            The Bank of America Rural 2000 initiative is 

        25   designed to expand on the current financing products 

        26   available in rural areas to include community facilities 
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         1   such as child care centers, capacity building support for 

         2   nonprofit organizations, development of a community 

         3   development loan fund servicing rural areas, and support 

         4   of uses of technology designed to meet rural needs.  In 

         5   order to develop these initiatives, Bank of America Rural 

         6   2000 included on its advisory board community leaders 

         7   from all service areas, including CSADC's executive 

         8   director, Mr. Cloyd Phillips.

         9            Bank of America's dedication to rural areas of 

        10   Nevada is to be commended.  CSADC supports the Bank of 

        11   America and NationsBank merger.  Our main concern, in 

        12   fact, the reason for being here today, is to ensure that 

        13   the positive programs, products, and services which Bank 

        14   of America has in place in Nevada are not lost in the 

        15   process.

        16            As a relatively small state in terms of 

        17   population, we in Nevada have often found ourselves 

        18   excluded from initiatives presented by both private and 

        19   public funding sources on a national basis.  We would 

        20   encourage that the Bank of America Community Development 

        21   Bank, Bank of America Foundation, and staffing support of 

        22   local initiatives, and the Bank of America Rural 2000 

        23   initiative be maintained or expanded through this 

        24   merger.  Thank you.  

        25            MS. SMITH:    Thank you very much.  

        26   Mr. Holderman.  
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         1            MR. HOLDERMAN:   Good afternoon, Chairwoman 

         2   Smith, board members.  My name is Reed Holderman.  I'm 

         3   the western regional director for the Trust Republic 

         4   Land.  The Trust Republic Land is a private, nonprofit 

         5   land conservation organization that works nationwide to 

         6   conserve land for people.  We were founded in 1972.  We 

         7   specialize in conservation real estate.  Over the last 26 

         8   years, we have helped protect one million acres 

         9   nationwide for people to enjoy as public open space.  

        10            We have had an excellent working relationship 

        11   with Bank of America, and they have established a strong 

        12   record and responsible approach to a host of critical 

        13   environmental problems in this state.  With the 

        14   establishment of a dedicated Department of Environmental  

        15   Affairs, this financial institution has taken on a wide 

        16   variety of internal and external conservation 

        17   initiatives.

        18            They include, one, their financial and 

        19   institutional support for "Beyond Sprawl, New Pattern of 

        20   Growth to Fit the New California," a publication which 

        21   demonstrates that responsible planning and development 

        22   and the in-filling of our urban core areas is a 

        23   mainstream business concern if California is to continue 

        24   to be a healthy state.  

        25            Two, their founding support and funding for 

        26   Californians for the land.  This collaborative group of 
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         1   three major California foundations, the Hewlett Packard 

         2   and James Irvine Foundation and Bank of America, has led 

         3   to the creation of the California Center for Land 

         4   Recycling and the Great Valley Center.  CCLR, or the 

         5   California Center for Land Recycling, assists in the 

         6   cleanup and the reuse of contaminated urban properties 

         7   for public benefit.  The Great Valley Center is concerned 

         8   with Central Valley's growth and environment and works to 

         9   create sustainable communities.  

        10            And, three, the bank's leadership in the 

        11   California environmental dialogue, a group of business 

        12   and environmental leaders that work to reach agreements 

        13   on difficult business and environmental issues such as 

        14   habitat conservation and air quality.  In fact, yesterday 

        15   in Sacramento, CED held a press conference in which they 

        16   publicly announced their support for an 880 million 

        17   dollar proposed bond acting that -- buying parks and open 

        18   space in California.  

        19            In addition, Bank of America has worked directly 

        20   for the environment.  We have done business deals with 

        21   them through the bank that have benefited both California 

        22   and the bank shareholders.  One of our projects was to 

        23   protect the 14,000-acre Rutherford Ranch in San Diego 

        24   County.  

        25            Finally, I just want to say that if this merger 

        26   is approved, it is our hope that Bank of America's 
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         1   environmental leadership in California will be felt 

         2   nationwide.  Thank you.  

         3            MS. SMITH:    Thank you very much.  

         4   Mr. Watkins.  

         5            MR. WATKINS:   Thank you.  I feel a little bit 

         6   like a fish out of water.  I'm a second-level 

         7   subcontractor.  And all these distinguished speakers and 

         8   causes, I'm impressed.  But I was asked -- my name is 

         9   Mark Watkins.  I'm a Native American business out of 

        10   Tulsa, Oklahoma.  And I was asked to write a letter 

        11   expressing -- or stating how NationsBank had helped me.

        12             I incorporated in January of '97 and operated 

        13   out of my house for three employees.  Currently we have 

        14   about 30 employees in a 7,000 square feet building.  And 

        15   through the opportunities that direct support for the 

        16   minority development people, particularly in Dallas, 

        17   specifically Diane Kwayar, our business has had the 

        18   opportunity to grow and we continue to get their 

        19   support.

        20            They have networked us to other major people, 

        21   companies that do business with them first line.  And our 

        22   business is growing through the network.  This Diane 

        23   Kwayar has introduced me to other first lines that do 

        24   business with Nations, and our business continues to grow 

        25   and thrive, and I think it's directly associated with the 

        26   support of NationsBank.  
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         1            I'm active in a lot of minority groups in 

         2   Oklahoma, and I've never been to a minority trade show or 

         3   anything that Nations didn't have a presence.  And 

         4   they've gone out to great lengths to help me directly  

         5   and our company.  And we're now manufacturing some of the 

         6   bank product thanks to the opportunity through Nations.

         7            So we're -- of course, it's a little different 

         8   level.  We're out there, like I say, in the middle of 

         9   Oklahoma and I'm hearing some big pitchers here.  But I 

        10   haven't had anything but fantastic support from the bank 

        11   and their people.

        12            I feel a little insignificant with my story 

        13   but -- this is kind of overwhelming for an Okie to be out 

        14   here in San Francisco, first time anyway, and in front of 

        15   the Federal Reserve Board.  So I'm shaking a little bit.  

        16   But it's pretty awesome, and so is NationsBank has been, 

        17   and I'm sure Bank of America is the same.  So I have no 

        18   doubts that it wouldn't be good.  

        19            MS. SMITH:    We appreciate hearing from you and 

        20   from the middle of Oklahoma.  

        21            MR. WATKINS:   Thank you.  

        22            MS. SMITH:   Ms. Snay.

        23            MS. SNAY:   Thank you.  My name is Abby Snay.  

        24   I'm the director of Jewish Vocational Service, which is 

        25   an employment and training organization here in San 

        26   Francisco working with a very diverse group of 
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         1   individuals in San Francisco, including refugees from the 

         2   former Soviet Union and Bosnia, adults and youth with 

         3   disabilities, recent college graduates and adults in 

         4   transition, homeless individuals, and other individuals 

         5   making the transition from welfare to work.  

         6            In the last fiscal year, which just ended on 

         7   June 30th, our organization placed 1,100 such individuals 

         8   into employment throughout the Bay Area.

         9            I'd like to focus my remarks on Bank of 

        10   America's community involvement in San Francisco in the 

        11   realm of welfare to work.  And I should tell you that 

        12   outside of these initiatives, our agency over the last 

        13   five years has placed over 40 individuals with some kind 

        14   of barrier to employment within Bank of America.  

        15            Assisting public assistance recipients to 

        16   transition off of welfare and into the work force 

        17   certainly presents one of the major public policy 

        18   challenges of the decade, and this requires close 

        19   partnerships among the business, the public, and the 

        20   nonprofit sector.  Bank of America, in my opinion, has 

        21   begun to carve out a leadership role in corporate efforts 

        22   to train and employ public assistance recipients.

        23            B of A has created positions within the bank to 

        24   work with community groups and government entities and 

        25   the Department of Human Services to create training and 

        26   hiring opportunities for individuals on public
.
                                                                     563


         1   assistance.  Through the work of Susan Portugal and Karen 

         2   Shawcross, two managers in welfare-to-work programs, Bank 

         3   of America is working to identify appropriate positions 

         4   for such hiring within the bank and then coordinate 

         5   referrals through community groups.  And I'd like to 

         6   share several examples.  

         7            We have just completed a four-month training 

         8   program training refugees in office technologies, and two 

         9   hiring representatives from Bank of America came to this 

        10   class to both educate them on the hiring process in 

        11   general and to talk specifically about hiring 

        12   opportunities which may be appropriate within the bank.

        13            As of today, we have nine of these students in 

        14   the testing and interview process, with Karen Shawcross 

        15   serving as an internal advocate within the bank to 

        16   encourage and facilitate hiring.  And I'd like to come 

        17   back in several weeks and let you know that they have all 

        18   been hired.  And these would be cash handling, security 

        19   guard, and other administrative positions.  

        20            Also, we are in negotiations with Bank of 

        21   America, which approached our organization, to explore 

        22   two training partnerships for welfare recipients, one to 

        23   train proof operators and one to train tellers and 

        24   customer service representatives.  Through such 

        25   partnerships, the bank would provide training resources, 

        26   space, and instructional staff, as well as hiring 
.
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         1   opportunities, and support our organization financially 

         2   to provide the soft skills, training, the work readiness, 

         3   the appropriate behavior, work attire, what we call the 

         4   soft skills, case management, and retention support after 

         5   hiring.  

         6            Bank of America has also provided funding 

         7   support to our agency as a corporate sponsor of one of 

         8   our employees of the year last year at our annual 

         9   business luncheon.  And this was a young woman with 

        10   severe emotional disabilities who, through employment at 

        11   the Exploratorium, really transformed from a young woman 

        12   with such dread and antagonism towards authority into a 

        13   model employee and someone who is now headed towards 

        14   premedical study at college.  It's really been a great 

        15   success story.  

        16            I also know that Bank of America is working with 

        17   other community-based organizations in similar ways, 

        18   trying to match hiring needs of trainees and 

        19   welfare-to-work programs with hiring opportunities within 

        20   the bank and also, in one example, donating space for 

        21   training in unused office space that Bank of America 

        22   has.  

        23            Although I can only address these narrow aspects 

        24   of employment and training within this large sphere of 

        25   the whole merger decision, Bank of America has clearly 

        26   made a strong commitment to welfare to work and is one of 
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                                                                     565


         1   the largest employers in San Francisco with significant 

         2   numbers of entry level jobs and has taken a leadership 

         3   position to provide important employment and training

         4   opportunities to San Franciscans.  And I would assume and 

         5   encourage a merged entity to maintain that commitment -- 

         6   I would assume that it would -- to community programs, to 

         7   hiring individuals coming off of welfare and, perhaps 

         8   most importantly, to retaining those entry level 

         9   positions within San Francisco.  Thank you.  

        10            MS. SMITH:    Thank you very much.  

        11   Mr. Friedman.  

        12            MR. FRIEDMAN:   Yes, thank you.  My name is 

        13   Jason Friedman.  I'm the vice president and director of 

        14   economic development for the Institute for Social and 

        15   Economic Development in Iowa City, Iowa.  ISED is a 

        16   statewide nonprofit agency that helps low-income, 

        17   unemployed, and underemployed individuals to start small 

        18   businesses as a way to become economically

        19   self-sufficient.  ISED also works in economically 

        20   distressed urban and rural areas, partnering with 

        21   communities seeking to revitalize their local economies 

        22   and create new businesses and jobs.  

        23            The proposed merger between NationsBank and Bank 

        24   of America has propound significance for my organization 

        25   and so I'm very pleased to be able to explain why today.  

        26            ISED is a micro-enterprise development agency.  
.
                                                                     566


         1   We provide training in self-employment for Iowans that 

         2   see small business development as a way to become 

         3   self-sufficient, provide for their families, and enter 

         4   the mainstream economy.  Over 65 percent of the nearly 

         5   1,000 Iowans we serve each year are on welfare or have 

         6   incomes under 150 percent of the federal poverty level.  

         7            The critical element of our success stems from 

         8   our relationships with the financial community.  We are 

         9   not a direct lender, so we rely very heavily on financial 

        10   institutions as one important source of capital to help 

        11   our clients start small businesses.  However, many of our

        12   clients fall outside traditional credit guidelines.  Over 

        13   the past ten years, we have been successful in 

        14   encouraging some banks in Iowa to look at the LMI market 

        15   as a profitable market for new customers and new business 

        16   opportunities.

        17            However, Iowa, unlike California, North 

        18   Carolina, New York, Maine, and many other states, does 

        19   not have a history of community development corporations, 

        20   community development financial institutions, and other 

        21   public/private models for revitalizing distressed 

        22   neighborhoods and creating jobs and businesses in

        23   low-income communities.  That is not to say that Iowa's 

        24   financial community is not committed to community 

        25   development.  Rather, we have not yet fully explored the 

        26   newer approaches to bank-driven public-private 
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         1   investments in low-income communities.

         2            However, in 1997 NationsBank bought Boatmen's 

         3   Bank, which was based in St. Louis and which had a small 

         4   presence in Iowa.  In many ways, that will be remembered 

         5   as the beginning of a new era of banking in Iowa.  For 

         6   the first time, a bank came to us and said, quote, "We 

         7   know what you do and we embrace it.  What can we do 

         8   together to increase business activity, jobs, and 

         9   investment in the communities that we work in together?"

        10            Needless to say, that was a breath of fresh air 

        11   for us.  And we didn't need to convince NationsBank that 

        12   serving the LMI market made good business sense.  They 

        13   were already doing it.  In fact, one of the first things 

        14   they did when the bank took over was to establish a 

        15   branch in the inner city of Des Moines, the capital city.

        16            Last summer, NationsBank Iowa made a major 

        17   investment in ISED to help subsidize the cost of our 

        18   business training programs in both urban and rural areas.  

        19   Today, Al Gross, the bank's vice president for community 

        20   investment, serves on our advisory council in Des Moines, 

        21   and Al and I are now exploring ways to strengthen and 

        22   grow our business relationship in ways that achieve our 

        23   mutual goals.

        24            Honestly, the attention we're getting from 

        25   NationsBank is great and the investment is very much 

        26   appreciated, but the bottom line is that Iowa now has a 
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         1   major financial institution that views the health and 

         2   growth of inner city markets as a major focus and 

         3   opportunity.  And we are proud to be a partner with 

         4   NationsBank in fulfilling those objectives.

         5            The proposed merger between Nations and Bank of 

         6   America will only serve to strengthen and expand that 

         7   commitment.  The new bank will provide a remarkable depth 

         8   and breadth of products and services to rebuilding 

         9   neighborhoods and increasing economic opportunity.  We 

        10   look forward to welcoming the new bank and the 

        11   opportunities it will provide to widen the circle of 

        12   economic opportunity for all Iowans.  Thank you.

        13            MS. SMITH:   Thank you.  Questions?  We don't 

        14   seem to have any questions for you, but we thank you very 

        15   much for coming and appreciate having your testimony.  

        16   Thank you all.

Last update: December 3, 2010