In October, Albina Community Bank – which operates primarily in North and Northeast Portland with branches in Beaumont Village, Eliot, Rose City Park and St. Johns – announced plans to fully merge with Beneficial State Bank during the first quarter of 2018. The merger will enable Albina to continue to expand its local community banking role. Beneficial State plans to formally combine the two banks into one entity under the Beneficial State brand, and the resulting unified bank will retain all of Albina’s staff and its five branches. The boards of directors of both Beneficial State and Albina have approved the merger.
“We recognize and want very much to help preserve the positive impact and legacy of Albina’s longstanding community banking model, knowing it plays a critical role in providing capital to underserved Portland entrepreneurs and individuals,” said Randell Leach, Albina’s chief credit officer and president of commercial banking at both banks. “Our merger will create a powerful organization that combines and amplifies the impact of Albina’s proven community banking model with Beneficial State’s mission to transform the banking industry for good by creating equitable access to financial services.”
Beneficial State will take great care to preserve Albina’s history of breaking down barriers between traditionally under-served communities and capital, complementing its own mission of promoting social justice, environmental resilience and economic sustainability.
The banks’ unification will strengthen its lending opportunities by combining $770 million in deposits and a loan portfolio of $656 million – over 80 percent in mission-driven categories like renewable energy, affordable housing and women- and minority-owned businesses. The merger will also pave the way for Albina’s model of personalized small business loans and deep community ties to expand into the California and Washington markets that Beneficial State already serves.
Albina’s Sue Campo will remain in her role as president as the two banks prepare to unify and will carry on in a leadership role.
“We’ll be retaining our essential local focus by retaining our local underwriting staff and our local branches,” said Campo. “We want to continue to tell the Albina story and we’re looking for a community project that will help us to maintain that legacy. We expect to continue the level of sponsorship and community engagement that Albina is known for, and our access to greater capital and Beneficial’s expertise will enable us to combine the best of both worlds and serve our community in an even greater capacity.”
All members of Albina Bank’s board of directors have been offered positions on the Beneficial State board and many have already accepted.
“As someone who was raised in the Albina neighborhood and has served on the Albina Community Bank board, I am pleased that this merger will bring a mission and the resources to serve individuals, families and businesses that have not always found open doors in banking communities,” said Kay Toran, president and chief executive officer of Volunteers of America Oregon. “A united Beneficial State and Albina will keep this population as a top priority.”
Beneficial State is owned by the non-profit Beneficial State Foundation and is a state-chartered and federally-insured bank with 17 locations in California, Oregon, and Washington. Both Albina and Beneficial State are community development financial institutions, as designated by the US Treasury, and Certified B Corporations with a shared goal of promoting social justice and environmental sustainability.