While much has been written about the post-recession popularity of the EB-5 program — which offers foreign investors Green Cards and potential citizenship in exchange for cash investments in the U.S. — less has been written about how it has quietly become a profit center for banks and their various financial partners. In the last year, a number of financial institutions have edged into the EB-5 space, finding ways to capitalize on the maze-like path that EB-5 capital takes enroute to developers’ coffers.
Put simply, the collective cash raised — each investor is required to kick in a minimum of $500,000 — can add up, giving the banks more capital to make loans against and generate revenue from. Banks also view it as a way to land lucrative additional work from developers and investors alike.
The program generates billions of dollars every year. Given the amount of capital in play, it’s no wonder that more financial firms are turning their attention to EB-5.