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First National Bank receives ‘outstanding' CRA rating from federal regulators

posted on Monday, November 21, 2016 in Community

Picture of a city neighborhood

First National Bank in Creston and Afton recently received the highest possible rating for its performance and compliance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

The bank’s “outstanding” CRA rating comes after testing by federal regulators revealed that, over the past 5 years, First National Bank had successfully met the credit needs for customers of all different income levels in the communities it serves.

Regulators also complimented First National Bank in the evaluation for its “excellent responsiveness” to community development needs and opportunities.Picture of Randy Huewe, president of First National Bank

“Our bank is committed to the vitality and success of the customers and communities that we serve throughout southwest Iowa,” said Randy Huewe, president of First National Bank. “We are honored to receive this rating, which reflects the successful community partnerships that we have formed over the years.”

One of those community partnerships is with Union County Development Association. Huewe has been president of the organization for 3 years.

In September, UCDA won an innovation award from Iowa Finance Authority for its Elm Street corridor project in Creston. That project included replacing dilapidated homes with new ones that were affordable for low-to-moderate income individuals.

“Randy has always shown optimism for the potential of this community,” said Wayne Pantini, executive director with Union County Development Association.

Another key partnership for First National Bank has been with Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG), which offers a program that provides first-time homeowners with mortgage counseling along with low-interest loans for down payments.Picture of Ruth Leiser, compliance officer at First National Bank

“We’re glad we can offer this to our customers,” said Ruth Leiser,  loan compliance officer at First National Bank. “Lack of a down payment has been determined to be a major obstacle for first-time buyers. This offers an alternative to help those individuals get into a home of their own and SICOG has been really easy to work with during the process.”

Meanwhile, the bank’s involvement in the Grow Iowa Foundation, conducting financial literacy presentations at local schools and its monetary donations and volunteer investments in the community also contributed to the high rating.

The intent of the Community Reinvestment Act is to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound banking operations.

Less than 3 percent of Iowa banks received an “outstanding” distinction over the past 5 years.

First National Bank in Creston and Afton is a full service community bank locally owned that specializes in commercial, ag and personal banking. First National Bank has offices in Creston and Afton with assets of $235 million.

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