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Member Profile: Beneficial State Bank

Socially Responsible Banking for Sustainable Communities

Beneficial State Bank, FSB, focuses on economic and environmental sustainability and takes a triple-bottom-line approach to community and environmental banking. We believe that a healthy environment is necessary for economic prosperity. We also believe that we can be a catalyst for positive change in our communities by providing fair, transparent, and sustainable banking products and services.

Formed from the December 2010 merger between OneCalifornia Bank and ShoreBank Pacific, Beneficial State Bank is one of only 80 banks in the nation that is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by The U.S. Department of the Treasury. A certified CDFI is a specialized financial institution that works in market niches underserved by traditional financial institutions. CDFI certification is a designation conferred by the CDFI Fund and is a requirement for accessing financial and technical award assistance. Financial and technical assistance from the CDFI Fund can increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities.

OneCalifornia Bank was the 2010 Recipient of the USF California Prize, awarded for significant service to the poor or marginalized and groundbreaking achievements in pursuit of the common good of all members of society.

A Vision of Beneficial Banking

Our vision is of a banking industry that is fair to the person with the least bargaining power; provides access to financial services for all our communities, particularly the traditionally underserved; results in the long-term prosperity of responsible consumers; promotes financial system stability; and contributes to the sustainability of the environmental commons. We call this vision “beneficial banking.”

In dialogues surrounding issues of sustainability, we take a broad approach. We ask if our communities and businesses can continue what they are doing for the next 100 years and still be viable. A business does not operate in isolation, and needs to think about its overall impact on the community when it assesses its sustainability performance.

Our Mission is to build prosperity in our communities through beneficial banking services delivered in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. It inspires everything we do, including: operations, commercial lending sectors, mission work, environmental initiatives, and community development and education work. We believe that transparency is critical to the bank’s long-term success and the future of our communities.

Commitment to Reducing Environmental Impact

We know that small changes can add up to big results in creating sustainable communities and workplaces. Our commitment to the environment is a guiding principle of our mission. We are very conscious of our environmental impacts, and constantly work to improve our performance. Our approach includes initiatives that address recycling and waste prevention, sustainable purchasing, and the built environment. By modeling sustainable behaviors, the bank has attracted the support of leading environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club Washington State Chapter, Climate Solutions, Green America and others.

Our Oakland office is certified as an environmental leader through the Bay Area Green Business Program and our Pacific Northwest offices were built using LEED green building standards. The interior space of our Portland office was built to LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors standards, while our Seattle office is in a mixed-use building that received LEED Silver certification. Our Ilwaco office incorporates many sustainable building techniques.

Community Development & Education

Understanding how a community bank brings value to its community is an important aspect of community development.  With us, local deposits work at the local level, to help build sustainable communities. Our customer deposits fund our lending program, which in turn supports businesses in the communities in which we operate.

We work in collaboration with Beneficial State Foundation to increase financial literacy and wealth building-skills for people and communities. Beneficial State Foundation engages in charitable and educational activities that primarily support the goals of Beneficial State Bank, FSB. Included are programs and initiatives to help eliminate discrimination, encourage affordable housing, alleviate economic distress, stimulate community development and increase financial literacy.