Do you want to invest in clean and sustainable companies but are unsure which company to choose? Learn more about the best B Corp banks to consider when opening an account.
B Corps are legally required to balance purpose and profits. They should take on the responsibility of a social mission to reduce harm and increase positive impact in their communities.
B Corps should participate in social and environmental issues, use technology to improve services, reduce costs & support fair trade, and support other causes that benefit the community.
The objective is to have a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
Opening an account in the banks that have embraced this noble objective can put you on the frontline in becoming socially responsible. This article will review the top B Corp banks to open an account today.
But First, let’s review what a B Corp means.
Table of Contents
- What is a B Corporation?
- What are B Corp Banks?
- B Corp Requirements for Banks
- 1. B Corp Certification
- 2. Part of GABV Network
- 3. CDFI Certification
- 4. Ethical Lending
- 5. Working Directly with Vulnerable Communities
- B Corp List of Banks
- 1. Aspiration
- 2. City First Bank
- 3. Piscataqua Savings Bank
- 4. Spring Bank
- 5. Virginia Community Capital (VCC)
- 6. Amalgamated Bank
- 7. Sunrise Banks
- 8. Southern Bancorp
- 9. Mascoma Bank
- 10. Beneficial State Bank
- 11. Brattleboro Savings & Loan
- Reasons to Open an Account with a B Corp Bank
- 1. Use your Money to Support Important Causes
- 2. Your Money is Safe
- 3. Better Fees
- 4. Feel Good
- Why B Corp Businesses are Becoming Popular
- 1. The Future is About Sustainable Businesses
- 2. Many Businesses are now Focused on Being Ethical.
- 3. Building B Corp Brands is Now a Priority
- 4. It is a Legal Requirement
- Related Resources
What is a B Corporation?
A certified B Corporation is a for-profit corporation that is not only driven by profit but also a mission. Such corporations meet high transparency, accountability, and good performance standards.
They aim at striking a balance between making profits and solving society’s most challenging problems.
What are B Corp Banks?
B Corp banks are committed to driving positive social change in the financial industry. These banks commit to ethical financing and involve themselves with initiatives such as creating and using green energy and encouraging fair trade.
Most banks are now striving to become B Corps after realizing that social change can only start from the financial institutions.
So, What makes a bank a B Corp?
B Corp Requirements for Banks
1. B Corp Certification
Banks have to undergo a rigorous procedure to become certified. They will go through a B Corporation assessment during the certification process to determine whether their decisions have a positive social and environmental impact.
The bank needs to positively impact how they relate with the workers, stakeholders, customers, and even the environment. This certification ensures that the bank meets transparency and accountability standards. If you want to check whether a certain bank is a B Corp, you can always search for its name in the B Corp directory.
2. Part of GABV Network
The Global Alliance for Banking on Values is a network of banks worldwide. These banks seek to change how the banking system currently works by supporting social, economic, and environmental change.
Each bank in the network creates a positive difference in the community by solving problems. If the bank is part of the GABV network, it is a B Corp.
3. CDFI Certification
Community Development Financial Institutions aims to finance underserved communities. These institutions can be banks or credit unions.
Lately, the United States treasury has encouraged banks to join the network to foster economic growth and prosperity among the underserved communities.
4. Ethical Lending
One of the major characteristics of a B Corp is ethical lending. Such banks aim for socially responsible lending. They focus on lending to companies or institutions that promote social good and advancement.
Most of their investments are in clean energy or positive innovations that help the world or underserved communities. Their aim also is to avoid financing companies that deal in firearms or tobacco. B Corp banks also avoid consumerism and strive to promote sustainable capitalism.
5. Working Directly with Vulnerable Communities
B Corp banks always aim to help vulnerable communities around them. Their objective is to positively impact their communities by financing projects that help community members. For instance, they seek to work with communities to solve housing problems.
These banks partner with nonprofit organizations to provide affordable housing to the community most of the time. The major characteristic of B Corp banks is actively participating in community projects that improve the communities quality of life and livelihood.
B Corp List of Banks
Aspiration is a neo-bank founded in 2013 to make the world better. Unlike other banks, Aspiration allows you to determine what you want to pay for checking bank services.
The bank gives you points and scores every time you promote a sustainable business to keep you motivated to live a sustainable life. Since it’s FDIC-insured, your money is safe.
Accessing your account is easy since they have a great online presence and a mobile app. unfortunately, they have no physical branches, and cannot make direct cash deposits.
Like what you are hearing? Read our full Aspiration neo-bank review.
2. City First Bank
City first bank is all about community development in the DC area. Being a CDFI (community development financial institution), their main role is to serve vulnerable community members. They help the community by providing affordable houses and also funding local businesses.
This banks’ main focus is real estate considering that over 80% of their investment is in real estate. It has been there for many years and is one of the first banks that received B Corp certification in Washington DC. However, the online app is not efficient, and you only get a few extra features from physical banking.
3. Piscataqua Savings Bank
This bank was initially founded in 1877 but became a B Corp bank in 2019. It is an independently owned bank that serves the community in Portsmouth.
With this bank, you have access to a checking and savings account plus a money market fund. Their commitment is to fund art in their community in New Hampshire.
They have a high-rated app, so you can easily do mobile banking. Unfortunately, they have a limited ATM network, so this might be a problem.
4. Spring Bank
Spring bank was started in 2007 to serve underserved communities living in New York City. Opening an account with Spring bank is straightforward.
They have various accounts such as;
- High yield savings accounts
- Checking accounts
- Money market
- CD savings
For the normal account, the minimum balance is zero, while the savings account needs to have at least $500.
You can withdraw money from their large ATM network, and they also have a reliable mobile app. Spring bank donates part of your savings to a nonprofit which makes you be socially responsible.
Unfortunately, this bank has only two branches in Harlem and Bronx, so you might not access the physical branch if you don’t live in these areas.
5. Virginia Community Capital (VCC)
Virginia Community Capital (VCC) invests in serving underserved communities in Virginia. They focus their investment on helping communities with housing and solar energy.
This bank started with a seed investment of $15 million that eventually grew to $1.8billion. Over the years, they have been able to finance close to 10,000 houses.
They also fund food programs and health facilities. It is a CDFI bank, so your money is safe if something happens.
The best thing with VCC is that they offer zero minimum balance for both savings and checking accounts. Unfortunately, they do not have an ATM network.
6. Amalgamated Bank
Amalgamated Bank is a great choice for businesses looking for a b corp bank. They offer a wide range of products and services, including checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment products.
Amalgamated Bank is also committed to social and environmental responsibility, which makes them a perfect fit for businesses that care about its impact on the world.
Being the largest union-owned bank in the united states, amalgamated bank has a long history of helping businesses grow and succeed. they are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and supporting the local communities in which they operate.
7. Sunrise Banks
Sunrise Banks is CDFI certified and has accumulated $1 billion in assets. They have six locations in Minneapolis and a total of 250 employees. This is a B Corp bank that is a member of GABV and so they are committed to being a socially responsible bank.
To promote their social responsibility, they donate 2% of their profits. They also offer their employees to work and volunteer in habitat for humanity.
Their investment goes into funding affordable housing, small businesses, and nonprofits. Unfortunately, they have no ATM network, so withdrawing money might be tricky.
8. Southern Bancorp
Southern Bancorp works with rural community development, serving projects in the mid-south. Over the years, they have accumulated their assets to $1.6 billion, with 65,000 customers.
The bank has different certifications, such as CDFI and GABV. They have checking and savings accounts, but they also offer personal loans.
The bank has 49 ATM branches, and their online and mobile banking is reliable. Southern Bancorp does not have ATM networks so it might be challenging when you want to withdraw money.
9. Mascoma Bank
Mascoma Bank makes an impact by offering affordable housing and community development. The bank has a total of 28 ATM networks across the branches.
Mascoma Bank has been funding the community for close to 120 years, so this is their area of expertise. The bank donates 10% of its pretax profit to charity.
Since it’s a mutually owned community bank, Mascoma offers the best opportunities to support the community. Their services range from personal loans, business loans, to mortgages, although they have a checking and savings account.
The bank has a good app and therefore transacting online is not a problem. However, they do not have any ATM networks outside their branches.
10. Beneficial State Bank
Beneficial State Bank (BSB) focuses on social justice and the environment. It is a socially responsible bank with all the certifications such as GABV, B Corp, and CDFI credentials. And, it offers business banking services to community-based organizations, SMEs, and nonprofits.
The bank also offers checking, savings, and money markets accounts. Even better, Beneficial State Bank has a large ATM network so that you can withdraw money anywhere.
It is a bank ideal for people looking for a basic bank for savings and a checking account. Their app has low ratings, so you might not have a good experience doing online transactions.
11. Brattleboro Savings & Loan
Brattleboro Savings & Loan is a mutual bank that serves the underserved community and minority-owned businesses, in Vermont. It was established in 1912, so they have experience in the business.
They focus on solar energy, giving back 10% of their profits. As part of their social responsibility, they serve the interests of the customers, employees, clients, and communities.
Their mobile app is rated high, so you will have an easy time transacting online. Unfortunately, they do not have ATMs outside their branches.
Reasons to Open an Account with a B Corp Bank
1. Use your Money to Support Important Causes
When you open a bank account with a B Corp bank, you use your money to make the world a better place. B Corps finance companies and businesses that strive to make a positive social and economic change.
If you want your money to help the community, start by opening a bank account with a B Corp certified bank. It will be your small way of making positive changes in this world.
Even if you are not actively making positive changes, your money will be doing that for you. This is better than most people will ever do in the world.
2. Your Money is Safe
One thing that you will love about opening an account with a B Corp is the safety of your deposits. B Corp banks have the deposits insured by various bodies such as the FDIC or NCUA.
You do not have to worry about your deposits getting lost because the regulatory bodies will take care of everything. The risk of loss of your money is reduced, and in case something happens and the bank collapses, you get up to $250,000 in your account.
3. Better Fees
Since B Corp banks are all about sustainable capitalism, they offer low fees and high-interest rates. These banks offer free checking accounts for transactional fees, while other banks charge an average of $11.
If you have a saving account with a B Corp, you will notice that they offer higher interest rates compared to the normal market rates. Apart from putting money in causes that help the world, you also get a chance to save your money and earn more with your savings through high-interest rates.
4. Feel Good
Knowing that you are helping someone or a cause gives you satisfaction. You go to be every night knowing that you are part of positive change in the world. If you feel that you are not doing much in this world, you can start by opening an account with b corp bank.
Why B Corp Businesses are Becoming Popular
1. The Future is About Sustainable Businesses
B Corp businesses are the future because of economic and social change. Today we have organizations that are championing environmental change.
With global warming, it is now apparent that we need to make the world a better place. We now have organizations that are committed to improving the quality of life.
With depreciating resources, we now have benefit corporations examples such as green energy companies that save the environment from toxic fuels.
2. Many Businesses are now Focused on Being Ethical.
Ethical businesses are now becoming the norm. Many companies nowadays are moving towards ethical business practices. For instance, we have businesses that believe in fair trade and sustainability.
With the movement towards human rights and global warming, companies are now striving to become ethical. Ethical companies are profitable because clients and investors want to be associated with businesses that care about people and the environment.
Striving to create a business that is more than just making a profit is the goal of every investor or entrepreneur.
3. Building B Corp Brands is Now a Priority
The shift is now towards creating socially responsible brands. It is a good marketing strategy to create a business that aligns with your values and beliefs.
Innovators and entrepreneurs are starting businesses that align with their values and want to impact society. Building B Corps brands is about creating awareness of the importance of taking care of the environment. For instance, solar energy companies are creating brands that promote green energy.
4. It is a Legal Requirement
Setting up a B Corp is now a legal requirement. Governments are now putting regulations that force many companies to follow the structure of a B Corp.
Most regulatory bodies require businesses to strive to be socially responsible companies. Companies that are socially responsible receive incentives and have an easier time doing business than those that are not ethical.
The B Corp community is now the future. Banking with a B Corp bank and investing in a B Corp business is the best way to use your money for positive social and economic change.
When choosing a B Corp bank, make sure that it has all the right certifications. The bank or business should also focus on promoting ethical business practices apart from making a profit. Take time to look at their business model to determine whether they are socially responsible.
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