Small Bank Seeds Green Lending with Assist From Fintech

American Banker
Friday, August 6, 2021

Virginia Community Capital Bank in Richmond prizes the clean energy lending program it launched five years ago. But as a small community development financial institution, it lacked the resources to find socially minded depositors at the scale it wanted to fund its solar loans. Ando, a challenger bank that focuses on sustainability, is finding them instead. The San Diego fintech has the trappings of a typical neobank: no monthly fees, early direct deposit and interest rates that grow in exchange for referrals. But its mission is to fund clean energy, sustainable agriculture and other green loans made by partner banks, of which the $233 million-asset Virginia Community Capital (which markets itself as VCC) is the first. “It’s always been my dream at VCC to match impact-minded deposit customers directly to the solar loans that we do,” said Bill Greenleaf, the bank's real estate lending team manager and clean energy loan officer. “We just don’t have the technology infrastructure or the marketing resources to find individual depositors that want to focus on clean energy.”