Wainwright Bank & Trust Company (Wainwright) is widely recognized as the country's leading socially progressive bank. Although a publicly traded commercial bank (NASDAQ: WAIN), Wainwright has proven that supporting issues of social justice is not exclusive of profitability. Indeed, the bank's business platform is fueled by the social platform and vice versa, thus creating a unique and successful brand in an otherwise undifferentiated industry.
Like most other commercial banks, Wainwright offers a full array of accounts, loans and services for consumers, businesses and nonprofits. But unlike others, over 50% of Wainwright's commercial loan portfolio is committed to financing community development initiatives, funded by its depositors. In addition the bank offers products unique to the industry.
CommunityRoom.net was launched in 1999 and provides free web pages to any nonprofit client of the bank and the ability to accept online donations. Other features include a calendar of events, links to resources for both donors and nonprofits, and an Issues Forum featuring opinion papers on civil liberties after 9/11, wealth disparity and climate change. Over $1 million in donations were generated in 2007.
Created in 2001, the Wainwright Bank Green Loan provides a discounted home equity loan rate for energy efficient home improvements including the installation of solar panels, passive heating systems, green roofs, wind energy and more. In 2005 the bank opened two of the first branches in the country to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; two more are awaiting certification.
The Wainwright Bank Equal Exchange CD is a three-year certificate of deposit that provides a competitive return for depositors while acting as collateral for a line of credit to Equal Exchange, a Fair Trade coffee pioneer. As the CD deposits grow, so does the available credit to Equal Exchange, helping them support third world farmers using sustainable farming methods.
Approximately 17,000 households and organizations have chosen to bank with Wainwright. Of those, over 500 are nonprofits.
The new Ashmont Station branch in Dorchester, located in a new Transit Oriented Development (TOD), consists of 116 units of mixed income housing with ground floor retail and is located next to a public transportation hub serving 17,000 commuters daily. The branch lobby features an espresso bar run by Flat Black, a Fair Trade coffee company.
As a leader in socially responsible community development lending, Wainwright has provided $700 million in financing for projects such as affordable and special needs housing, homeless shelters, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS services, food banks, inner-city schools, addiction services, breast cancer research, immigration services and more -- with a zero percent default rate. In 2007, total deposits increased 6% or $35.5 million and total loans increased 12% or $76.8 million. Nonperforming assets to total assets remained at 0.01%. With no subprime loans in its portfolio, Wainwright ranked 4th among community banks nationwide in home mortgage growth over the prior year at 31.8% as reported by American Banker.
Last year, “Lisa” was homeless and addicted to crack cocaine, along with being HIV positive. For the next two years she went back and forth on drugs, in and out of treatment programs. Today, the 37-year-old mother of four resides in the Sheila Daniels House in Roxbury, MA – a project financed by Wainwright Bank. Lisa’s teenage daughter is also living drug free and will soon start school at Roxbury Community College. Full Story