A friendly and effective CDFI working to provide opportunities to residents of Northern Louisiana
Louisiana is among the southern states which have struggled to find their footing since the move to manufacturing from agriculture made northern cities wealthy at the turn of the 20th century. Although agriculture will continue to be an important part of American industry, it grows smaller as we increasingly get our food shipped in from large mechanized farms located in foreign countries, leaving states like Louisiana, which have traditionally relied on agriculture, struggling to find new industries to support their residents. TalkPoverty’s statistics show that nearly a fifth of Louisiana residents live under the poverty line, with an even larger percentage of women living in poverty, and with the lowest percentage of young people with higher education degrees, this is unlikely to change any time soon.
Although many problems regarding high rates of poverty more drastically affect those living in Southern Louisiana, the northern part of the state also faces issues. Additionally, the northern part of Louisiana, which is much more Protestant than the rest of the very Catholic state, may feel underrepresented by their elected officials, who have traditionally represented those southern, Catholic interests. In states where people face issues of poverty and underrepresentation, it is vital that they can secure housing and small business loans which keep wealth within their communities.
Bank of Montgomery, operating for more than 100 years, is a CDFI working in Northern Louisiana to provide excellent banking and loan products to their customers with excellent service. Although they’ve been in Montgomery for a very long time, they expanded to other small towns and cities in the area in the late 1990s, and since then have grown in size and influence. Even with 15 branches, they emphasize personal customer service, reflected on their Facebook reviews page where many have described the familial assistance they’ve received when conducting their banking. They also have a financial services company that works with their customers to provide investment opportunities to those who may not have even considered investing their money previously.
Although BOM’s website doesn’t emphasize their work with low-income populations, their loan portfolio reflects it, even if this is easier to achieve if the bank works in an area with a higher density of low-income individuals. With a housing focus of a little over a third of their lending portfolio, more than half of this goes to low- and moderate-income households. They also do a significant amount of small business lending, with it making up 11% of their lending, and even do a significant amount of small farm lending at 2.5%, important for a bank working in an area that is still largely agricultural. They’re not only a safe and solid Better Banking Option, with a positive return on assets and a satisfactory CRA rating, they also use 90% of their assets for lending, showing they’re serious about making a positive impact with their assets.
Bank of Montgomery offers both online and mobile banking, as well as remote deposits, which make it possible for anyone looking to invest in communities in Northern Louisiana to do so. To support this Better Banking Option today, check out their website.