There’s more proof that credit unions and banks can actually work together for the greater good.
A little over a year after St. Louis Community Credit Union and Carrollton Bank announced a four-year, $800,000 collaboration project, the alliance has helped to increase lending in several communities.
Both recently reported closing on 40 loans totaling $130,000 and nearly 100 accounts since the venture opened for business in December 2012.
Last May, the $237 million St. Louis Community CU and the $1 billion Carrollton Bank in St. Louis, came together to help increase lending, provide greater access to affordable services, and expand financial education to underserved and low-to-moderate income St. Louis communities.
The credit union and bank operate a branch within Kingdom House, a local St. Louis service agency.
Dorothy Bell, vice president of public relations and community affairs at St. Louis Community CU, said the branch has helped to provide to those who may not otherwise have access to mainstream financial services.
Under the agreement between the credit union and Carrollton Bank, four initiatives were planned: open a new credit union branch in an underserved community, open a new financial learning center, increase funds for small-dollar loan programs, and add two loan programs.
Funds will be used to help open and operate St. Louis Community’s first CU Excel Center, a financial literacy and life skills education destination point located in Northwoods, Mo. The center will be owned and operated by the St. Louis Community CU Foundation and will offer free financial education classes and seminars to the public.
Carrollton Bank provided a $500,000 loan fund to make more small-dollar loans that include payday loan alternative and credit builder loans, which will be originated by St. Louis Community CU lenders.
Carrollton will also offer low-down-payment FHA home loans at all St. Louis Community CU offices and commercial loans to area business owners.
St. Louis Community CU said it is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a community development financial institution.
At the time of the announcement in May 2012, Patrick Adams, president/CEO of St. Louis Community CU, said “There are still many neighborhoods in the St. Louis area that do not have convenient access to local mainstream banking services.”
He added, “We are so pleased Carrollton Bank’s support will help us establish a branch in another underserved community inside of the urban footprint.”