The Weirdest Bank You’ve Never Heard Of
Chuck Snyder came to National Cooperative Bank in 1983 to serve as its chief financial officer. Today, it's a $2.6 billion dollar bank, holding $2.2 billion in deposits, and a portfolio of $2 billion in loans exclusively to housing co-ops, consumer co-ops, producer co-ops and other cooperatively-owned entities across the country. It's a bank, not a credit union, because its members are exclusively co-ops themselves, not individuals. It's survived three recessions, two major financial crises, and dramatic industry consolidation — in 1983, there were more than 14,000 commercial banks in the U.S.; today there are fewer than 5,000. And it's not just a name — the bank itself is also a cooperative, owned and controlled by its customers. It's one of a few banks that doesn't have the traditional ownership structure of wealthy investors at the top, reaping the lion's share of profits at the expense of borrowers and depositors.