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Why you should be banking with Drake Bank

A small bank making a big impact with a unique approach in the Twin Cities

A reader recently reached out to us to ask us to do some research on Better Banking Options in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and this is one of the banks we found while conducting this research. We’d like to remind all of our readers that we’re still offering free research to anyone who messages us, either through our site or through our email (

The Twin Cities had a wealth of Better Banking Options, apparent as soon as we started looking, and many banking institutions there have put an emphasis on small business lending. This is congruent with the thriving economy and job market in the two cities, as the area has the 2nd best economy in the Midwest and is home to the headquarters of many large companies, including General Mills, Target, and United Health Group. It’s also the fourth-largest U.S. banking city, behind New York, San Francisco and Charlotte.

Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States [CC BY 2.0 (]

However, all these factors don’t necessarily mean the success of small businesses, as having to compete with larger companies and chains may be a struggle. While we’re not exactly sure why there seem to be so many banks investing in small business in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Better Banking Options like Drake Bank investing in small business loans guarantees that the affluence in the area can be taken advantage of by locals and kept in the local economy, rather than large chain businesses directing that capital elsewhere.

Drake Bank has only one branch, located in the Northwest of St. Paul, and they’ve been operating only since 2002, but with a unique approach and devotion to addressing the specific needs of their community. Their one branch is located in a low- and moderate-income neighborhood, in an industrial building that used to be a marble and tile company. Their mission statement reads, “We are dedicated financial professionals working together with our clients and our community to discover, earn and build a better future,” and all throughout the “our story” page of their website, they emphasize relational and personal banking practice in order to foster the development of their community. Additionally, their employees work with a wealth of community organizations in the area, including the public school system, the local public radio, and several church groups.

The real emphasis of their lending portfolio, like many banks in the area, is on small business lending, and this makes up 42% of their lending. Considering we usually think of banks that devote 20% of their lending to small business as doing extremely well, this statistic is seriously impressive. They also do a considerable amount of housing lending, at 25% of their portfolio, and almost 40% of this goes to low- and moderate-income households. As far as the stability of this bank goes, they’re a little more loaned out than we like to see, with a net-loans-to-deposits ratio of 116% (meaning that they have more loans out than they have deposits), but it’s better than the alternative of having not enough of their assets out in the community through lending. They still have a positive return on assets and a Satisfactory CRA rating.

Even though Drake Bank is a small bank with only one branch and assets under $100 million, they offer online banking and mobile banking, even mobile deposits, which makes it possible for anyone looking to invest in the Twin Cities to do so. Check this Better Banking Option’s website today to get started.

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