Midwest BankCentre has won the 2019 Community Commitment Award from the American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation for its work with members of St. Louis’ black, Bosnian and Latino communities.
“We celebrate this national recognition of our business strategy, wisely using capital to help everyone achieve their dreams as part of our Midwest BankCentre family,” said President and CEO Orv Kimbrough. “Our entire community benefits when individuals and businesses have access to non-predatory banking services, improving their financial health and the financial health of their communities. Midwest BankCentre is leading the way to truly change lives through high impact investments and proactive financing to strengthen entire ecosystems.”
The award will be accepted in Seattle on Oct. 29 by Alex Fennoy, executive vice president and community & economic development director, during the ABA’s Annual Convention. The award highlights Midwest BankCentre’s strengths in diversity and inclusion as competitive differentiators.
It notes Midwest BankCentre’s development of bank branches in unbanked or underbanked communities through groundbreaking partnerships with the City of Pagedale, Beyond Housing and Friendly Temple Church in north St. Louis. It also cites the bank’s hiring of 17 Bosnian war refugees, support of the Lemay Child and Family Center, and funding of Fontbonne University’s Bosnia Memory project. Within the Latino community, home ownership has become more accessible through the bank’s mortgage loan for those with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) rather than a Social Security number.
Small business loans have helped customers start and grow local businesses to advance community and economic development throughout St. Louis. Extended hours, innovative products, educational workshops in English and Spanish, and sponsorship of community-building programs and events have further expanded the bank’s commitment to meet customers where they are and to help them achieve their goals.
“Midwest BankCentre demonstrates a strong and passionate commitment to bettering the lives of its customers and local community,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “Its work embodies the mission of the Community Commitment Awards and they are a well-deserved recipient.”
The eight ABA Foundation winners were divided into seven categories including affordable housing, community and economic development, financial education, economic inclusion, protecting older Americans, supporting military families and volunteerism. Award winners were chosen by a field of national experts.
Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. The bank works to empower people, enable business and energize neighborhoods through the strength of its financial services, including personalized consumer and business banking, business cash management, mortgage lending, home equity loans, financial planning and investments, insurance and digital banking. It ranks among St. Louis’ largest locally owned banks with assets exceeding $1.9 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion.
The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative. Since 2001, Midwest BankCentre has consecutively achieved the Bauer Financial 5-Star Superior financial rating each quarter. It was the national winner of the 2018 National Community Bank Service Awards by the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) for its success in bringing mainstream financial services to unbanked and underbanked citizens in the region