The story of Urban Partnership Bank is unconventional, to say the least.

The upstart bank was in essence born out of the rubble of a failed business, after its South Side predecessor — ShoreBank, known for its willingness to lend to less-than-prosperous borrowers that most banks turned their backs on — was devastated by the real estate bubble.

Shorebank, formed decades ago specifically to increase borrowing opportunities for low-income consumers, earned a reputation as a socially conscious community bank.

Now its successor, Urban Partnership Bank, is in the process of defining itself —-a bold attempt to stand out in an intensely competitive industry dominated by institutions that offer almost exactly the same interest ratesand strikingly similar consumer products.

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