A solid Better Banking Option investing equally in small business and low-and-moderate income housing
There are typically patterns and trends when looking at cities for Better Banking Options, and the apparent trend in the twin cities in Minnesota is doing impressive amounts of small business lending. While we don’t know exactly why the banking institutions in the area seem to be doing so much of it, access to small business loans makes Minneapolis-St. Paul a great place in which to start your own business. As another bank we found when doing research on the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, 21st Century Bank is a long-standing financial institution which continues the trend of heavily investing in small business while also prioritizing low- and moderate-income housing.
Having been open since 1917 and having located six of their seven branches in or around Minneapolis, 21st Century is a great option for anyone who wants a bank with intimate knowledge of the needs of the local community. While eventually starting out as a farmer’s bank in a rural farming town outside of Minneapolis, they began moving closer to the city and prioritizing urban and suburban areas, growing in assets and influence since the ’80s, but still staying small and locally-focused at under a half billion in assets. They are “consistently ranked as a top 10 [Small Business Association] preferred lender in Minnesota,” and invest in many of the community events and organizations in the neighborhoods they’re located in.
While most 21st Century Bank locations are in higher-income areas, and their history and about us page imply that they’re more interested in affluent, suburban neighborhoods, their lending portfolio says otherwise. They don’t do as much housing lending (at 30% of their portfolio) as some other banking institutions we’ve recommended, however, this is to be expected when they’re already devoting 29% of their lending to small business. And of this 30% relegated to housing, 60% is going to low- and moderate-income households, surprising in a city where most people live above the national median income.
This solid portfolio is matched by a positive return on assets, as well as a Satisfactory CRA rating, indicating that the bank is not only effective but a safe place to keep your funds. While they don’t currently offer mobile banking, they do offer online banking and bill pay, making it possible for anyone with an internet connection to invest in this Better Banking Option. It’s a great option for anyone looking to invest in small business and low- and moderate-income housing in Minneapolis-St. Paul.