For decades the South Bronx had been regarded a “banking wasteland” in dire need of stable, mainstream financial institutions. When Spring Bank opened in 2007, they were the first bank to locate in the South Bronx in over 25 years, providing affordable, mainstream banking services to a neighborhood in need. Since then, Spring Bank has continued that fight by expanding to Harlem. Spring Bank believes every community deserves a bank that serves local people and businesses. They are committed to serving anyone who believes in the importance of keeping Main Street strong.
For 45 years, the African American congregation of First Union Baptist Church has worshipped and served together in a historic building on Grand Concourse in the Bronx. However, over the last ten years the church has faced significant financial troubles. Now, Spring Bank is proud to facilitate a redesign of the location, including 45 new units of affordable housing and new retail space to help the church continue its legacy. "This was not a cookie-cutter loan request," says Akbar Rizvi, the bank's Chief Lending Officer. "But at Spring Bank we pride ourselves on making hard deals work if the community benefits."
B Corps are businesses that have been certified by the nonprofit B Lab as being committed to the ideal of using "business as a force for good." As community development banks already have that ideal built into their foundations, these banks make a great fit for the B Corp movement. "It's in our DNA to serve our community, particularly low- and moderate-income communities," says City First Bank CEO Brian Argrett. "Our approach to being a community bank was already fully aligned with what B Lab was doing." CDBA's Spring Bank and Sunrise Banks are also identified as stellar examples.
Money worries are a top concern for American workers, with the stress often distracting them from the job. As a result, companies are realizing the need to provide better financial literacy and services for their employees. To support this need, Spring Bank has recently begun partnering with businesses to offer its Employee Opportunity Loan program. The program provides loans to employees at participating companies of up to $2,500 with no minimum credit score requirement as alternative to payday loans and other high-interest financial options.