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.
When people come to live in the U.S. from other countries, they often don't have an American credit history, identification or other typical requirements of the account-opening or loan process. But community banks are finding ways to serve this growing population while mitigating credit and compliance hurdles. Spring Bank and Sunrise Banks are featured in this article.
When COVID-19 hit, Spring Bank responded by supporting their small business and nonprofit partners when they needed it most. Hours after the CARES Act passed in April of this year, their lending team got to work to assist organizations with their applications for a Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan. Spring Bank is proud to report that as of this month, they secured 360 PPP loans–valued at $86.8 million–for small businesses and nonprofits in the New York City area. With these funds, organizations retained over 5,000 jobs.
"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.