Chicago bank expands on city’s South Side

With latest branch acquisition, Urban Partnership Bank continues to reach into communities that lack banking options.

August 1, 2012

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A local bank that was successor to the failed ShoreBank is expanding its footprint on the South Side of Chicago.

ShoreBank, a lender that had gained a high profile by investing in minority-dominated areas that other banks shied away from, had its deposits assumed by Urban Partnership Bank in 2010.

Urban Partnership Bank has been expanding in Chicago and is now acquiring a branch of Northern Trust on 79th and State Street. Urban Partnership’s CEO says this new location will be in lockstep with the bank’s focus.

“[This acquisition] allows us to service more of the community that’s in our mission,” said CEO William Farrow. “One of the basic tenets of what we’re trying to do is have deposits and convenience in communities we serve.”

Urban Partnership operates in distressed urban communities in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. It serves neighborhoods that have few banks or other non-predatory lending options. The bank is best known for servicing small businesses and nonprofits.

The 79th and State location aims to attract depositors from Chicago’s Chatham, Greater-Grand Crossing and Auburn Gresham neighborhoods. This will be Urban Partnership’s 10th branch.

“As we develop ourselves we will make sure we embrace communities that need these services,” Farrow said. He pointed out the vast number of small businesses that operate in Chatham.

The company’s recently opened other branches in the Bronzeville and Austin neighborhoods.

Neither Urban Partnership nor Northern Trust would comment on the terms of the agreement. It’s expected to be approved by the end of the year.