Beneficial State Bank closes $218 million financing

Beneficial State Bank on Thursday (June 9) closed a $218 million equity offering of the U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), which will support the expansion of lending to small businesses and low-income customers to moderate.

ECIP, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, is investing $8.7 billion in various community banks, based on their track record of lending to underserved communities.

Beneficial State Bank said the new investment will go towards building capacity to serve marginalized communities. The bank wants to use it to add more products to help with things like “community outreach, minority-owned small business loans, funding for affordable housing projects, loans to non-profit organizations , consumer loans to those who generally do not have access to credit” and more, according to a press release.

“The economic ripple effects of COVID-19 continue, particularly in communities that have long been neglected by the financial industry,” said Randell Leach, CEO of Beneficial State Bank. “This investment will allow us to fund even more small businesses, support non-profit organizations providing essential services to our communities, and help families plan for their future.”

“With this funding, we have the opportunity to triple our impact in the years to come, in pursuit of our vision of a bank that helps restore our planet and expand prosperity for all.”

In other news related to banking aid to underserved communities, DreamStart Labs and free smartphone company KEiPhone are offering new digital banking services in EMEA to provide FinTech-enabled smartphones to unbanked women in this region.

Related: DreamStart Labs, KEIPhone give smartphones to unbanked women

The phones, distributed by KEIPhone, will come pre-installed with the DreamSave application. Women who receive the phones will be able to see advertisements with content aimed at them, such as mobile money services, to help entrepreneurs improve their businesses and support agricultural innovation.

There will also be ways to access paid solar products. The companies plan to start working with 10,000 women in rural Uganda and later expand to other countries.

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Shawanda H. Saldana