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.
"The more you [run a community bank in the Bronx] the more you see the lack of inclusion is baked into stuff," says Demetris Giannoulias, the Chicago-born co-founder and CEO of Spring Bank. Reports submitted to federal regulators show Spring Bank's borrowers, both individuals and businesses, are disproportionately located in low-to-moderate income census tracts. All of its small business lending in 2016 and 2017 went to businesses with less than $1 million in revenue. Yet it is financially sustainable — if it wasn't, like any bank it would get in trouble with regulators.
Every year, B Lab recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses. Honorees are recognized for having the highest environmental, community, customer, worker and overall impact by earning a score in the top 10% on the B Impact Assessment, as well as a list recognising B Corps with the greatest impact improvement (the changemakers). These businesses are proving that competing not only to be best in the world but best for the world is a winning strategy, and they can lead the way as mainstream businesses join our movement. This year, 4 CDBA members were named Best for the World: Beneficial State Bank, Spring Bank, Sunrise Banks, and Virginia Community Capital.
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."