California Bank & Trust, the town’s only bank, is defined to shut Aug. 26
by Sue Dremann / Palo Alto Weekly
A few East Palo Alto teams this week reacted in to the closure that is announced of town’s only bank by saying they will not allow it take place without looking for all options to truly save the branch.
California Bank & Trust, which started when you look at the Ravenswood 101 mall in 2002, is placed to shut Aug. 26, relating to a bank spokesman. But neighborhood nonprofit leaders aren’t prepared to accept your decision.
“this is actually the start of discussion. This is simply not a done deal,” stated Leah Simon-Weisberg, handling lawyer for Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto.
Steve Borg, spokesman for Ca Bank, stated the choice to shut the branch had been hard, but there were not sufficient loans and deposits.
Ca Bank is not a bank that is retail it really is a company and careers bank that primarily serves big geographic areas in the place of having numerous outlets, he stated. The financial institution has solutions to people, including free checking for seniors many years 55 and older, but, he stated.
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The East Palo Alto branch ended up being never ever in a position to attract company from the many lucrative next-door neighbors at Ravenswood 101 — the box that is”big shops such as for example IKEA, Sports Authority and Residence Depot, Borg stated. Borg stated the lender made overtures that are several the stores, but to no avail.
Those shops bank with larger organizations as dictated by their headquarters that is corporate at a few shops conceded.
The town of East Palo Alto additionally will not make use of Ca Bank, Mayor Carlos Romero stated. Bank officials approached the town supervisor and manager of finance about making deposits when you look at the bank, nevertheless the town had been bound by a responsibility that is fiduciary Wells Fargo Bank during the time and ended up being “in no place to simply go its banking,” he stated. The town moves about $30 million through checks, nonetheless it does not keep a big stability, he stated.
Romero stated the town will likely to be at a spot where it might go its banking to a different organization in of an and had mentioned that to california bank, “but i think they were at a point where they couldn’t wait that long,” he said year. Going towards the bank that is local would not be assured. The town would place a request out for cash advance or payday loans proposals for monetary solutions, and Ca Bank could apply.
The closure is very discouraging for anti-predatory-lending advocates who possess heard of town devastated by the crisis that is residential-foreclosure. Also prior to the bank announced its closing, Community Legal Services along with other teams were taking care of methods to increase monetary education and decrease “payday” and lending that is predatory. Their system, called Bank on EPA and funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, continues to be in development, nevertheless the system model will be instituted in bad, multi-ethnic communities somewhere else, such as for example San Jose.
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Simon-Weisberg stated the master plan would be to join 2,000 more folks with cost cost savings reports this season. Those reports could offer the bank, if it had the ability to remain available for enough time.
She additionally stated Community Legal Services would explore getting the city to invest in buying a bank if it wishes a bank to purchase town. The team may possibly also communicate with the FDIC, the authorities’s separate bank regulator.
Having a bank when you look at the grouped community encourages visitors to move around in and build community, she stated.
Building relationships with a bank does mean “you’re not likely to be vunerable to a complete complete stranger whom knocks from the home,” she stated.
Ahead of the opening associated with the Ca Bank & Trust, residents had been reliant on loans with annual percentage prices as much as 400 per cent. And predatory lenders lured economically naГ”ve purchasers into loans with enormous balloon re re payments — some up to $7,000 per month on a $1,000 each month earnings, she stated.
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As banking institutions consolidate, Simon-Weisberg stated she fears a training referred to as “redlining” will get back. Redlining happened historically whenever bankers drew a map to point “risky” communities the place where a bank wouldn’t normally provide, whether or not individuals in the neighborhood could be eligible for a that loan, she stated.
“they might reject individuals. Individuals would not have the ability to fix up their domiciles. It is maintaining a residential district bad she said if they can’t buy or sell their homes.
Kevin Stein, whom assisted draw Ca Bank into East Palo Alto a decade ago, stated at that time that East Palo Alto ended up being the city that is largest in the united kingdom without any bank branch at all.
“East Palo Alto happens to be under-banked for a long time, which is a representation of redlining concerns,” stated Stein, connect manager for the California Reinvestment Coalition.
Preeti Vissa, community reinvestment director for The Greenlining Institute, consented.
Devoid of a bank that is local re-redlining a residential district as it’s forcing residents whom nevertheless need banking services to attend everybody else who is left,” including those that charge excessive charges or even a hefty portion for payday loans, she stated.
She additionally worries about significant falls in house, small company and small company management (SBA) lending. Small company management loans alone have actually dropped by 50 % in underserved communities, she stated.
“It really is a cycle of the dearth of resources,” she included.