About Spring Bank
Spring Bank is an independent FDIC insured community development bank. Spring Bank was founded and headquartered in the South Bronx in 2007 – the first bank to be so located in 25 years. The bank opened its second branch in Harlem in 2012. Spring Bank received CDFI certification in 2013 and the Bank’s holding company, CheckSpring Community Corporation, was CDFI certified in April 2014.
The Bank’s objective and mission is to serve the banking needs of underserved and low- to moderate-income communities in New York City, creating a franchise that is recognized for community development, community service, and effective and affordable products and ethical conduct, while generating a healthy return on assets and equity. Apart from small business and commercial loans, the bank is committed to offering its customers a full array of affordable consumer loan and asset building products beginning with Borrow & Save, a small dollar loan product with required savings.
The Bank’s branch customer base reflects the neighborhoods where its branches are located - ethnic and racial minorities, areas of high unemployment, low bank branch density, and low home ownership. Residents and small business owners in the bank’s investment area experience economic challenges and lack of participation in the financial mainstream, that make it difficult for them to qualify for to access traditional loan products. Since inception, the bank has continually refined products and scope to meet the needs of underserved communities. The bank is a full-service banking institution, with specific products tailored to meet the needs of underserved populations.
Spring Bank is a member of the NCIF Network:
- BankImpact Dashboards Reporting Bank
To help New York City workers bridge the occasional gap between their income and the cost of living, and alleviate financial stress, Spring Bank has recently launched the Employee Opportunity Loan with partner BOOM!Health.
BOOM!Health is a nonprofit with 140 employees that delivers a full range of health coordination, housing, legal, advocacy and wellness services to over 12,000 of the hardest to reach individuals in the Bronx. With the Employee Opportunity Loan, BOOM!Health has connected their employees to a new voluntary benefit.
Spring Bank designed the Employee Opportunity Loan to provide access to affordable small dollar loans through partnerships with local employers. Now, employees can access responsible small credit securely and conveniently as part of their voluntary benefit package with automatic payroll deductions. Loan amounts range from $1,000-$2,500 and have no minimum credit score requirement.
According to Melanie Stern, Director of Consumer Lending at Spring Bank, “Many New York City workers have trouble weathering emergencies or even fluctuations in their day-to-day cost of living. Individuals turn to high-cost, often predatory lenders or may dip into a 401K, which is a costly way to borrow. These practices make it difficult to build savings, and can damage credit scores, even start a cycle of debt.”
An Employee Opportunity Loan (repaid over a year’s 24 pay periods) will cost employees an average of $7 a pay period – less than the cost of a movie ticket. For a typical two-week payday loan the same borrower will pay at least fifteen dollars for every $100 borrowed and borrowers typically pay more in fees and interest than the original loan amount of $1,500
Low and moderate-wage employees are facing increased financial stress, a problem for both the employee and their employers. According to the MetLife 2015 U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study:
“51% of employers strongly agree that employees are less productive while at work at our company when they are worried about personal financial problems. Given that 54% of employees report that they are very concerned about their financial security, it is likely that productivity is being impacted by financial insecurity at many companies.”
According to Jose M. Davila, President and CEO of BOOM!Health, “We are committed to paying all our employees more than a living wage. However, we recognize that there are times when an unexpected emergency or unusual expense can create the need for access to an affordable loan. In working with Spring Bank we are ensuring that our employees will borrow responsibly while provided an opportunity to be better prepared for future financial needs.”
BOOM!Health employee Denise Ortiz said, “When I inquired for financial assistance from Spring Bank, I found that the service was outstanding. The representatives made everything very convenient and the process was expedited. I have never experienced such a quick response and willingness to help a customer.”
Spring Bank President, Eric Pallas, notes that given the right opportunities and tools, Spring Bank and local employers can help New York City workers borrow responsibly and begin saving. “The goal of the Employee Opportunity Loan is to provide a clear alternative and to get employees on the right track to financial health. The product demonstrates that responsible lenders in New York City can offer alternatives to the predatory products available in person or online, that have become so pervasive in low-income communities across the nation.”