A small-town bank serving the big city market of Omaha with highly effective community lending
While researching Better Banking Options in Omaha, Nebraska, for a research request, we noticed that many of the best banking options available to Omaha residents are actually headquartered elsewhere. They’re often small institutions that have spent most of their time working in more rural, agricultural communities, but because of their success have also opened a branch or two in urban Omaha. One might think that this would result in a branch ill-suited to serve a metropolitan neighborhood, but small community banking values are beneficial to every kind of community.
Equitable Bank is a fantastic example of this, and it’s why we consider them to be one of the Better Banking Options in Omaha. They’ve been working in Grand Island, NE, for almost as long as it’s been around, starting more than 125 years ago as a building and loan. They eventually opened another branch in town, and then two more in North Platte and Omaha. Continuing to diversify, they opened their own charitable foundation in 2005 and in 2015, fully incorporated in order to become a fully traded stock company.
Although this bank doesn’t hold any designations, and they don’t make lofty claims about their contributions to community development in the area, it’s clear from their portfolio that they do a lot of community development lending. They do a significant amount of housing lending at about a quarter of their portfolio. The distribution of this reflects the placement of their branches; one of three of their buildings is located in a low- and moderate- income (LMI) neighborhood, and about a third of their housing lending is done in LMI census-tracts.
Normally, this isn’t a lot of housing lending, but it’s a lot when considering how much other lending this bank is doing. About 30% of their assets are devoted solely to small business loans. Another 10% of their assets go to small farm loans, a particularly important area of lending when in Nebraska, a largely agricultural state. Considering all of this, it’s not surprising that they use almost 95% of their assets for lending, making them a highly effective Better Banking Option as well as a compassionate one.
Small town banks typically value personal relationships with their customers above all else, and this bank is no different. This has allowed them to serve both their hometown of Grand Island and the big city of Omaha with the same determination to provide loans that enrich their customers’ lives and the communities they live in.
Anyone looking to invest in community development lending in Omaha should open an account with this Better Banking Option, as they offer both online and mobile banking, making it possible for even those who don’t live near a branch to bank with them. Check out their website to get started today!