Beneficial State Bank 70877

Bank with Purpose

Beneficial State Bank

1. No Poverty 2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Overview

Beneficial State Bank is also a CDFI, which stands for Community Development Financial Institutions, where they must serve a high percentage of their loan dollars to low to moderate income communities. One of the most important things that BSB does is lend to non-profits that build affordable housing in their communities. In doing this, Beneficial State Banks is trying to put an end to the housing crisis, which has caused the cost of land inflation to go through the roof.

Author

Jack Jobe

Jack Jobe

School

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee

Professor

Emily Landry

Emily Landry

Innovation

Beneficial State Bank is one of the highest rated BCorp's in the world regardless of industry, while being a bank. The company focuses on taking the negative impact that banks might have like financing fossil fuels, private prisons, or weapon and gun manufacturers. They want their customers to look at the inverse and say, "How could we do something that builds up the community and make it beautiful." What the company strives to do is the idea of no harm, and instead, lend every dollar they can to businesses and places in their community that will make a positive change.

At the end of the day, they're the bank, they are not the ones doing the work. They are just the keepers of the money and getting it to the community. Beneficial State Bank wants to encourage money to go to the communities that have historically been disinherited, disinvited, or excluded from the banking industry, and give them the means to do what they know best.

Bank with Purpose

Inspiration

What motivated Craig is the entire reason that they exist. The bank is for-profit but is entirely owned by a non-profit foundation. There is no purpose to this business other than giving back to the community. It's as simple as that. Some of the banks main focuses are giving clean energy, affordable housing, creating good food and sustainable agriculture, and helping women and people of color prosper. He wanted to focus on how to include these people in the banking business rather than exclude them. Craig stated, "If we pay our people well, do good for the planet, and make any profit off of that that isn't retained for growth, it will only go to a non-profit foundation to go back into our communities." Craig wanted the good things that come from banks, but to also get rid of the negative side of banks that can possibly hurt the community.

Overall impact

Beneficial State Bank believes in making sure that their employees make a living wage, where they make 150% living wage. Over a third of bank tellers in banks in this country are on some sort of public welfare or disability. These banks are some of the most profitable companies in the world and can't afford to pay their employees a living wage. But Beneficial State Bank wants to show that there is a different alternative. They believe in if you pay people well, treat them with dignity and respect, you can still make a profit while doing it. You don't just make a little profit, you make a sustainable profit. The company wants to show that there are ways going forward that don't harm the environment and community while being a holistic good rather than an individual good.

As a commercial bank, lending is the primary way that they want to see change. They aim to ensure that at least 75% of their loan amounts are used to achieve their mission of creating a more socially just and environmentally friendly world, and that none of their loans are contradictory with this goal. Beneficial State Bank currently has $971 million in loan commitments going towards a better community. Some of the problems these loans seek to end include the public housing crisis, environmental sustainability, and health and wellbeing.

Business benefit

They aim to develop an expanding economy for everyone at Beneficial State, and that starts through their own employees. They are devoted to setting high standards for themselves, just as they are to developing our communities. Paying living wages, providing complete benefits, and empowering employees to speak for what they want are all examples of this.

They recognize the United States' long history of racism, unfairness, and oppression. The company accepts that black people, indigenous people, and people of color as a whole are marginalized in society. They recognize that the financial services industry is riddled with inequality. Beneficial State Bank strives to create a culture of inclusiveness in which everyone is treated with compassion, respect, and dignity as a valuable employee of the organization.

Social and environmental benefit

Every year, Beneficial State Bank releases a yearly impact report, which shows where their key mission-driven lending areas are. Small businesses took a toll in the year 2020, and Beneficial State Bank strived to help them, while loaning $162 million to small businesses. They also focus on loaning most of their profits to non-profit companies that better their communities, while lending $274 million to these companies. Also, one of their main goals is fixing the housing crisis in the places their bases, so in 2020 the company loaned $275 million to mission-aligned affordable housing.

Their benefit to all, harm to none extends not only to their borrowers but also to their physical surroundings. They feel that banks and investors, as a group, have enormous leverage over the resources they spend at Beneficial State. They also provide lending for the environment and renewable energy. Their renewable energy lending provided over $40 million in loans to energy projects, which also provided 645MWh of energy produced while funding these projects.

Interview

Craig Hill, VP, Client & Treasury Manager

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Beneficial State Bank

Beneficial State Bank

Portland, OR, US

Business Website: https://beneficialstatebank.com

Year Founded: 2007

Number of Employees: 201 to 500

Beneficial State Bank opened in 2007 under a unique foundation ownership model and has 7 branches throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. The bank believes in nourishing their community, not extracting from it. They develop and use impact measurement tools and practices to track how our services and loan dollars support a new economy.