COVID recovery, financial inclusion among key initiatives
This week, Ramon Looby marks his first year as CEO and President of the Maryland Bankers Association (MBA). During his tenure, Looby has overseen the growth of the organization as well as the expansion of services to members.
In particular, Looby points to the critical role that MBA and Maryland’s banks played in COVID recovery.
“One of the most important ways that MBA and our members served our customers, clients, and communities last year was helping facilitate access to federal and state aid,” said Looby. “Maryland’s bankers were integral in the public-private partnership that implemented the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, giving out 176,500 loans worth $15 billion in funding, which helped save countless businesses and nearly a million Maryland jobs.”
Looby, who is a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) Minority Council, oversaw the successful matriculation of the MBA’s Emerging Leaders program which helps elevate young bankers from diverse backgrounds by giving them the tools they need to become industry leaders. He also emphasized financial inclusion—ensuring the availability and equality of opportunity to access financial services—during his first year.
“Marylanders who don’t use the banking system are often members of minority or other traditionally underserved communities, and they are vulnerable to everything from predatory lending schemes to not being able to easily access much-needed state and federal aid,” Looby explained. “MBA and Maryland banks are promoting solutions designed to provide access to affordable, functional, and safe bank accounts because access to financial tools is necessary—businesses are started with loans, houses are bought with mortgages, and credit is built with history. Especially during the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it is even more important to have access to these tools so that people can adapt to ever-changing circumstances. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with Maryland banks of all sizes to expand financial inclusion in our great state.”
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Looby concluded: “We helped our members overcome unprecedented challenges in the past year and we helped them build stronger bonds with their customers and communities. We also added strong new leaders to our service-oriented team. And, mostly, we helped educate policymakers and the public about the important, life-changing role that Maryland’s banks play in keeping our state economically strong. I look forward to working with our team to redouble our dedication to our members, expanding our capabilities and further strengthening our culture of service in the coming year.”