Fulton Financial brands, expands community service initiatives

Fulton Financial Corp. is rolling out new programs that build on its efforts to create affordable mortgages and other services for people with low-to-moderate incomes.

The Lancaster-based banking company has enhanced its affordable-mortgage product, launched a new program focused on community development, and partnered with a nonprofit that seeks financial empowerment of people in poor communities.

The enhanced mortgage product is known as the Homebuyer Advantage Plus. Introduced in 2014, the mortgage offers borrowers a lower down payment.

Recent changes to the credit criteria make it easier to qualify for the loan, according to Phil Rohrbaugh, CEO of Fulton Financial. “We continue to modify that in a way we think will broaden its appeal to others.”

The bank’s community development initiatives, meanwhile, have been branded under the name Fulton Forward, a play on the “pay it forward” concept popularized by the movie of the same name.

Under Fulton Forward, the bank is looking to expand homeownership and affordable housing, but also to promote economic development through small-business lending, Rohrbaugh said.

“This is about really showing some responsibility, of really creating something for future generation,” Rohrbaugh said.

The bank also is partnering with Operation HOPE, an Atlanta-based nonprofit focused on financial empowerment, to develop a program that helps borrowers pay the closing costs on a mortgage. Depending on their circumstances, borrowers could be eligible for up to $2,500 in aid, Rohrbaugh said.

The program is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016, said Laura Wakely, a Fulton spokesperson.

Fulton also is working with Operation HOPE to bolster efforts in its branches to teach financial literacy.

Fulton Financial is the parent company of Fulton Bank and several other subsidiaries operating roughly 240 branches in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. It has assets of $18.4 billion.

Joel Berg
Joel Berg is editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Born in Philadelphia, raised in Northern Virginia and now living in York, he's a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and the University of Maryland. Have a question or story idea? Email him at jberg@cpbj.com.

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