Serving Diverse Needs

Everyday People—The diverse staff at Spring Bank serves a diverse range of customers in Bronx, N.Y.
Everyday People—The diverse staff at Spring Bank serves a diverse range of customers in Bronx, N.Y.

By Eric Pallas

Spring Bank is a Bronx-based community bank. We are unique in that we very consciously attempt to achieve a double bottom line. So although we are proud of our ability to generate strong returns, we are even prouder to be able to do it while serving the needs of underbanked and unbanked consumers in the communities that we serve.

In 2007, we opened our headquarters in the South Bronx, in the poorest congressional district in the country, where half of the children live in poverty and half of the residents are unbanked. It is part of our mission to provide affordable and fair banking products to unbanked and underbanked individuals and businesses in the New York metro area. We are proud of our successes in offering below-market check-cashing services to noncustomers, as well as deposit products and consumer loan products designed for all types of consumers.

Spring Bank
Bronx, N.Y.
ROAA in 2015: 1.65 percent
ROAE in 2015: 13.36 percent
Assets: $143 million
Retail locations: Two
Employees: 35
Founded: 2007

We also believe in hiring locally and paying all our employees a living wage, which is why we have implemented a $15 minimum wage for all bank employees. Many of our staff members come from the underserved neighborhoods in which the bank is located and are bicultural and bilingual, and therefore know and understand the needs of our customers.

We are a best-performing community bank because we are able to operate as a team to meet the needs of our commercial customers, who are excellent businesspeople but often are overlooked by the big banks operating all around us in New York City. We are a Preferred Lender with the Small Business Administration, which has allowed us to offer a wider range of loan products to our commercial customers. Every small-businessperson is unique and we are able to recognize that.

The community banking industry’s future remains strong despite many challenges, primarily because we are able to be more responsive to the needs of customers than larger institutions are. Technology will be a great equalizer. As the innovations of FinTech firms are adopted throughout the banking system, community banks like ours will be able to bring innovations to market as quickly if not quicker than our larger peers to meet the needs of our clients. We will be able to use them to more efficiently serve our customers, but always in an environment where the customer is treated as a person, not a number.

Eric Pallas ( is president of Spring Bank. He has 35 years of experience in the banking industry.