Beneficial State Bank (Beneficial State) today announced that it will soon complete its third merger in ten years, a move that further strengthens its West Coast presence a decade after opening its first branch in Oakland, Calif. and affirms the vitality of triple-bottom-line banking committed to meaningful social justice outcomes and environmental well-being.
Following regulatory and board approval of its merger with Albina Community Bank (Albina), Albina’s five neighborhood branches in Portland, Ore., will open Thursday, Feb. 1 under the Beneficial State banner for a total of six in the city. The banks share the mission-driven Certified B Corporation® certification and recognition as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), together representing $782.8 million in deposits and a loan portfolio of $680.9 million comprising total assets of $935.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2017. The merger ensures the continuation of a well-capitalized, values-based CDFI banking option, and disseminates a model of personalized small business loans and deep community ties through the Beneficial State footprint.
“Historically, consolidation has been the enemy of community banks, stripping banks’ local commitments and accountability,” said Kat Taylor, Beneficial State cofounder and CEO. “Beneficial State’s growth demonstrates the potential to broaden reach and capacity while remaining rooted in community, focused on environmental imperatives, civic responsibilities and the underserved,” added Kay Toran, previous Albina board member and new Beneficial State board member.
With more than 75 percent of its loan portfolio funding mission categories such as renewable energy, affordable housing and women and minority-owned businesses, Beneficial State’s progressive model of mission-driven banking has scaled throughout the West, first through its acquisition of ShoreBank Pacific in 2011, then Pan American Bank in 2016 and now Albina. Its expanding products and services now strengthen communities in Washington, Oregon and California with 17 branches and 253 employees serving neighborhoods in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Rosa and California’s Central Valley.
“We are part of a growing movement that believes business must be a force for good,” said Beneficial State’s President and Chief Operating Officer Randell Leach. “There is a groundswell of people and businesses demanding divestment from initiatives that extract and insisting on values-based banking. Coming together allows us to further invest in the economic prosperity and environmental well-being of our neighborhoods and better serve our communities by providing greater access to financial resources.” -more-
“Beneficial State has acted again and again to create necessary banking support for the equitable, prosperous, resilient future we all wish to see,” said Spencer Beebe, cofounder of ShoreBank Pacific and vanguard environmental nonprofit Ecotrust.
Looking to increase its impact, Beneficial State is investing in technology, products and services and advocacy to reach further into underserved communities and drive banking industry evolution into the next decade. This spring the bank will unveil a new online banking platform alongside a bevy of enhanced services for the majority of its Beneficial State customers. Integration for all customers will commence in summer and conclude in the third quarter of 2018. Beneficial State Foundation, which owns the majority of the economic rights to Beneficial State, will continue to augment the bank's mission to change the banking system for good by being an advocate for values-based banking, helping municipalities align their banking with the values and aspirations of their residents, and publishing extensive reporting on the bank’s financial status and social and environmental impact at www.beneficialstate.org/impact.