ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015 - (Page 48)
> FROM THE STATES
solutions in Baltimore
bY KAtHleeN mUrpHY
HOw cOULD THIs BE? I asked myself as I watched helicopter news
footage of the Baltimore riots following the death of a young man in police
custody this spring. My mind grappled with these images unfolding in
downtown thoroughfares before a backdrop of well-known landmarks.
It was hard to believe what I was
seeing. Just two years prior, news
cameras recorded a city that came
together- 200,000 strong-in
a jubilant, unified celebration on
the same streets as Baltimore
Ravens fans celebrated the team's
second Super Bowl victory.
Things are different now. Perhaps this
is the cusp of meaningful change,
of a coming together of creative
minds to solve the systemic issues
faced in our state and across the
country where poverty exists: jobs,
transportation, day care, housing,
education and positive role models.
Because of the turmoil in Baltimore
this spring, and our industry's response
to it, I have a greater appreciation
that banker leadership is impactful-
quietly and collaboratively. In fact,
it has given me a remarkable sense
of inspiration and hope. Here is
a snapshot of Maryland bankers'
"legacy of service" in the immediate
aftermath of the unrest and as
the city looks toward the future.
communication. By 9 a.m. on the
day after the riots, our members
with branches in Baltimore asked
the Maryland Bankers Association
to collect and disseminate branch
opening and closing schedules
as well as substantiate rumors of
more unrest. Our members wanted
to provide access to banking
services, yet keep their employees
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | sEpTEmBEr/OcTOBEr 2015
and customers safe. For a week,
we provided updates in half-hour
increments beginning at 5 a.m.
Things were fluid in the days
following the unrest, particularly as
"news" swiftly moved through social
media. MBA served as a conduit
for our members in the same way
that our counterparts across the
country have done when faced
with challenges in their states. It's
what our members expect of us
and is a role we gladly serve.
relationships and reputation. Banks
and communities are intertwined.
Because MBA's members work
collaboratively with community
partners every day, they were
poised to ratchet up their support
and involvement to help Baltimore
address its priorities. MBA convened
conference calls with city and state
officials so that banks were informed
of loan funds created to address the
immediate need of reopening the
more than 350 businesses impacted.
Banks, among others, provided
funding for these loans. Banks also
worked directly with their affected
customers. Our members responded
in other ways, including bringing
food and medical supplies to senior
housing communities until damaged
pharmacies could be restored.
long-term solutions. MBA and our
members are engaged with other
community leaders to address
housing and workforce needs. As
a community development officer
for one of our member banks said,
"The true value that we add is
providing the intellectual capital,
and bringing partners to the table
that can create synergies to move
the needle on various community
issues where 'unmet' needs exist."
Along with our members, MBA is
examining the regulatory barriers
hindering banks from doing more in
housing and community development.
Policymakers are also asking this
question. What we are looking for is
where the banks' views converge with
those of community stakeholders. Our
members believe a broad stakeholder
coalition can impact positive change.
It doesn't take a crisis to summon
banker leadership. MBA members-
small, regional and large banks and
their 40,000 employees-have
been an integral part of the fabric of
Baltimore for centuries. In fact, MBA's
founder 120 years ago was Enoch
Pratt, a banker and philanthropist
who created the free library system
in Baltimore, among his numerous
legacies. We cannot underestimate
banks and bankers who, through their
dedicated service and philanthropy,
are strengthening Baltimore and
influencing the broader discussion
of how to lift communities.
KAtHleeN mUrpHY is
president and CEO of the
Maryland Bankers Association.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015
POISED AND PROACTIVE ON THE FARM
MEETING CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE
INVESTING IN STRONG RURAL COMMUNITIES
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
BANKS IN INSURANCE
REAL ESTATE LENDING
FROM THE STATES
INNOVATIONS IN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015
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