Contact: Geoff Smith, Project Director
Nowhere to Bank: Despite Expanding Branch Networks and Strong Deposit Potential, Lower-Income and Minority Communities Still Can’t Find a Branch
[Chicago] – The recent boom in bank branches seen throughout the Chicago region has not touched all communities equally, leaving low-income and minority communities underserved. New evidence from Woodstock Institute indicates the largest area banks have not expanded commensurately into lower-income and minority markets despite the substantial purchasing power and concentration of potential deposits available in these communities.
While many affluent municipalities and neighborhoods are passing laws to limit new bank branches from opening, a number of lower-income and minority communities are trying to attract new branches or keep the few that they have.
“The rapid expansion of several area banks has been focused on affluent markets, “said Geoff Smith, Project Director at Woodstock Institute, “but many banks have been ignoring viable modest-income and minority markets.”
Country Club Hills, a middle-income, minority community in the South Suburbs lost one of their two bank branches in 2002. “Banks are tripping over themselves to open another new branch in Lincoln Park, but largely ignoring communities like ours where there is significant potential business,” says County Club Hill’s, Mayor, Dwight W. Welch.
The full version of the report is available for download:
Woodstock Institute, founded in 1973, is a nationally-recognized resource on credit and capital needs of low-income and minority communities. The Institute engages in applied research, policy development, and technical assistance to promote community economic development.