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Why you should be banking with The Cooperative Bank

A cooperatively owned banking institution serving the Roslindale, West Roxbury and Charleston neighborhoods with a focus on housing.

Another great banking option that we uncovered when doing research on banking in Boston is another cooperatively run and owned institution, simply called The Cooperative Bank. Like many banks in the area, they’ve got more than a hundred years of history serving their community in Roslindale, MA. A diverse residential neighborhood in the greater Boston area, Roslindale is known as an excellent neighborhood in which to raise children in the area, and it’s clear from our research that The Cooperative Bank does their best to serve these families and individuals in their community.

First opening as Roslindale Cooperative Bank in 1898, they moved to their current headquarters on Belgrade Avenue in 1956 and have remained there to this day. They opened a branch in West Roxbury in 1996, and then two years after merged with Charleston Cooperative Bank to form their current institution, and today they have three branches in these neighborhoods. They pride themselves on “personal, attentive service,” and emphasize on their website that they combine modern technologies with old-fashioned relational banking. We would encourage The Cooperative Bank to open more branches in low-and-middle-income neighborhoods, as only one of their branches is currently located in one.

With a housing focus of 65% of their lending portfolio, and 47% of this focus being allocated to housing loans for low-and-middle-income families and individuals, it’s clear they have prioritized affordable housing when making lending decisions. Reflecting the diversity of the neighborhood of Roslindale, several members of their upper management are people of color and women; one of them serves as their Community Reinvestment Officer as well as their Senior VP of risk management. They also do a significant amount of small business lending, which makes up 10% of their lending portfolio, and have achieved a Satisfactory CRA rating. They don’t restrict their membership eligibility, so we would recommend this institution to anyone looking to invest in low-and-middle-income housing in the greater Boston area, as they have online banking resources which would make it possible for those not living near a branch to bank with them.

To learn more about The Cooperative Bank, visit their website here.


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