A community development bank in Arkadelphia, Ark., that raised nearly $35 million could be a model for a growing number of similar banks scrounging for capital to meet the needs of consumers and small businesses in struggling neighborhoods. Central to the strategy of the $1.6 billion-asset Southern Bancorp is a heavy emphasis on returning capital to investors through regular dividends and a stock repurchase program. "There's patient capital, but patient shouldn't mean permanent," CEO Darrin Williams said in an interview after the bank recently published a paper about its successful capital raise late last year.
Pressure is mounting on banks to offer low-cost accounts that could help bring more unbanked households into the financial mainstream. On October 19, both the American Bankers Association and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. called on banks that do not already offer accounts designed for previously unbanked consumers to start doing so. The basic accounts cost $10 or less per month and they usually do not come with paper checks, and don't charge fees for either overdrafts or low balances. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are among more than 40 banks that offer such accounts, and on Monday ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols urged "the rest of the industry" to join them.
Amalgamated Bank yesterday announced that Keith Mestrich has informed the Board of Directors that he will step down from his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer on January 31, 2021. At that time, he will transition from a director to special advisor to the Board through July 2021. Mr. Mestrich joined Amalgamated Bank in 2012 and has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since 2014. The Board has formed a Search Committee comprised of Lynne Fox, Chair of the Board, and four independent directors to oversee a national search process for a new CEO.
Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are closing for good. Temporary layoffs at larger companies are becoming permanent. But the country's largest banks, which together serve a majority of Americans through loans, credit cards or deposit services, are not raising an alarm. In their third-quarter earnings reports this week, big banks have said they are generally prepared for a wave of loan defaults they expect in the second half of next year. And their own fortunes are just fine: A trading and investment banking bonanza on Wall Street is helping them stay profitable. A few common themes have emerged from the reports.
Kat Taylor started a bank, a venture capital firm and an agribusiness to use capitalism’s toolbox to fight systemic racism, environmental destruction and economic inequality. Way back in 2007 (the stone age in impact investing), Taylor and Steyer launched an idea they’d talked about for years: use a charitable foundation to start a bank that would lend to nonprofits and do-gooder businesses and direct its profits back to their environmental and community charitable causes. With Taylor as CEO, Beneficial State Bank has grown into a $1.1 billion institution with 13 branches stretching from Washington to Southern California.