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'Banking summit' to focus on push for accountability

A "banking summit" will spotlight efforts to make banks accountable to the community.

The Buffalo Niagara Community Reinvestment Coalition will host the event, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the King Urban Life Center, 938 Genesee St. in Buffalo. It is free and open to the public.

The coalition, consisting of 13 groups, worked with KeyBank and Northwest Bank to develop their community benefits plans, as the two banks acquired former First Niagara Bank branches. Their respective five-year plans include commitments for lending, investments and new East Side branches. Northwest's community benefits plan is valued at $102 million. Key, through its plan, had invested more than $337.4 million in Western New York through last December.

The coalition describes its mission as "eliminating inequitable banking practices and the enduring impact of redlining."

The Saturday summit will include sessions about historical discrimination through banking, the effect of the Community Reinvestment Act on banks, and the impact of community benefits agreements.  There will also be food trucks, bounce houses, games, face painting, music and interactive exhibits.

More information is available at bncrc.org/events/banking-summit.

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