Why you should be banking with Prudential Bank


A larger, long-standing bank in Philly that hasn’t forgotten their roots as a building and loan

As we talked about in the most recent post, in our previous model of our developing search engines, we were giving more weight to banks and credit unions which had significant amounts of lending in three kinds of lending: low- and moderate-income housing, small business and small farm. However, this discounts the banking institutions which specialize in just one of these areas. We have since decided to combine these types of lending into one data point, which we call “quality lending,” so that banks and credit unions that lend the majority of their assets to just one area can be weighted just as highly as banks which evenly distribute their lending.

One example of an institution that would have been hurt by this previous method of weighting is Asian Bank in Philadelphia, a stellar bank that works in Philly’s Chinatown to provide small business loans to Asian-American immigrants. Another bank in Philly that specializes in their lending, while having a big impact on the community, is a bank that has been working to provide low- and moderate-income housing for more than a century. Prudential Bank is a much larger and more traditional bank than Asian Bank, but even they can be hurt in the process of requiring certain benchmarks be met for all areas of lending.

With 10 branches, all in or close to Philadelphia, and over $1 billion in assets, Prudential Bank in Philadelphia is a large institution with a long history, although they didn’t really experience much growth until the 2000s. They started as “The South Philadelphia Building and Loan Association No. 2” in 1886, eventually converting to a mutual savings bank, a mutual holding company, and finally to a bancorp in 2013. While they still emphasize their history as a building and loan association, “making home ownership possible for the average person,” they have expanded to include commercial real estate lending and construction & development lending in their portfolio.

Still, it’s clear that while they have the conveniences and technology of a modern, urban bank, they still retain the mission of a building and loan association. Their primary and first-listed loan officer has 40 years of experience in community banking. While only five of their 10 branches are in low- and moderate-income census tracts, nearly three-fourths of their housing lending goes to these neighborhoods. This is even more significant considering a little more than half of their lending is devoted to housing. Because they do so much housing lending, only 2.5% of the lending goes to small business.

While they could be more effectively loaned out, with a 78.22% net-loans-to-deposits-ratio, they also have a positive return on assets and a Satisfactory CRA rating. They offer online, but not mobile banking, meaning that this is a banking option probably best left to those living or working the Philadelphia area. But if you are in Philly, this Better Banking Option is a great one for anyone looking for a bank with branches across the metro area that also contributes significantly to community development, specifically in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Check out their website to get started today.

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