Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Greening of Chicago

By Michael Scheibach, Executive Editor

Three banks closed this week.

Community banks worried about new regulatory requirements.

Small banks strive to compete with big banks.

Stagnant salaries, reduced benefits and more downsizing at banks around the country.

Yikes! The news is rather depressing. Except for news coming out of Chicago, where GreenChoice Bank, positioned as Chicago's only green community bank, has opened for business.

Steve Sherman, the bank's founder and chief operating officer, is a second-generation community banker with a commitment to helping the community and the environment -- at the same time.

Sherman acquired Family Federal in July 2010. And since that time, he and his equally dedicated staff have worked behind the scenes to transform a former traditional community bank into a true green bank . . . inside and out.

GreenChoice is operating out of two former Family Federal branches in Cicero and Lockport, Ill. Later this year, however, the bank will become the official bank of the Green Exchange, a 272,000-square-foot former factory that is being converted according to LEED Platinum standards.

GreenChoice is a great story: A community bank opening its doors during difficult that has a mission of helping the community while promoting the importance of saving the planet.

For more about GreenChoice Bank, watch for my Technology Focus column in the March issue of BankNews magazine.

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