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the article below is based on material from its website and from a visit by CDFA in 2005


Mission and Values

Since its inception in 1973, ShoreBank has been a pioneer.

In those days of officially sanctioned discrimination on the basis of race and income, ShoreBank was created to demonstrate that a regulated bank could be instrumental in revitalizing the communities being avoided by other financial institutions.

In 2000, ShoreBank expanded its focus to include environmental issues, believing that communities cannot achieve true prosperity without also attaining environmental well-being.

ShoreBank's unique purpose is evident in its mission statement and corporate values:

MISSION ShoreBank invests in people and their communities to create economic equity and a healthy environment.


All of ShoreBank's leaders and employees are expected to demonstrate the following values in their daily activities and decision-making:

Integrity and Excellence

We deliver on our promises. We are honest in everything we do. We provide superior execution and exceptional customer service.

Respect and Inclusion

Our leadership, workforce and decision-making reflect and respect the diversity of customers and communities we serve. We value all employees, investing in their personal and professional growth. We encourage employees to express themselves and be active partners in making ShoreBank an outstanding organization that creates social and environmental change.

Collaborative and Local

We integrate services and share knowledge across affiliates to provide maximum benefit to the customers and communities we serve. We value and rely on partnerships with others who share our goals. We make decisions close to the customer, based upon deep understanding of customers and local markets.

Triple Bottom Line

We strive to meet three objectives simultaneously: building wealth for all in economically integrated communities, promoting environmental health and operating profitably. Innovation We do not accept the world as it is – we recognize value where others may not. We create practical new tools that increase economic equity and produce a healthier environment.


ShoreBank began operating in August 1973, when its founders purchased the South Shore National Bank (now ShoreBank) on Chicago's South Side.

The South Shore neighborhood was undergoing racial change at the time, and the bank's former owners wanted to move the failing institution north to the city's downtown business district. Neighborhood residents protested the move and, for the first time in U.S. banking history, federal regulators denied an application to relocate a bank for reasons of changing neighborhood demographics. Consequently, the bank's owners chose to sell the bank.

At the same time, four friends and co-workers — Mary Houghton, Milton Davis, James Fletcher, and Ron Grzywinski — whose combined backgrounds encompassed banking, social services and community activism, were seeking to buy a bank. They believed that a commercial bank, flanked by complementary development organizations, could effectively restore neighborhood economies.

With $800,000 in capital and a $2.4 million loan from the American National Bank, they bought South Shore National Bank. From its inception, ShoreBank's operations demonstrated that a specially designed, regulated bank can help to reverse the decline of inner-city neighborhoods coping with disinvestment and discrimination. Within two years, profitable operations were restored and the bank's profits have helped support the activities of the other affiliates ever since.

In 1978, ShoreBank Corporation (the regulated bank holding company owning ShoreBank) created three affiliates to complement the bank: a real estate development company, a nonprofit organization and a minority venture capital fund. These new organizations were a critical extension of the bank's lending activities.

ShoreBank began replicating its development banking approach in other communities in 1986. Currently, ShoreBank has companies in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Pacific Northwest. In addition, its consulting company ShoreBank International assists and partners with development organizations domestically and internationally.

In 1995, ShoreBank doubled in size to just over a half-billion dollars when the Chicago bank merged with Indecorp, a minority-owned Chicago bank holding company that included two South Side commercial banks.

ShoreBank became the first banking corporation in the U.S. to address environmental issues in 1994 when it partnered with Ecotrust, an environmental organization, to create ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia (formerly ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific), a nonprofit, and ShoreBank Pacific, a bank.

ShoreBank has received national and international recognition for its efforts and has earned the support of not only the residents of the communities it serves, but also socially responsible investors and depositors nationwide.

Corporate Information

as of 12/31/07 ShoreBank Corporation is America's first community development and environmental bank holding company. Headquartered in Chicago, ShoreBank is a $2.4 billion company with banks and nonprofits in Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Ilwaco, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Michigan's Upper Penninsula; and consulting services around the world.

Triple-Bottom-Line Performance

$2.4 billion in assets $4.2 million in net income $445 million in total mission investments in 2006:

  • $185 million in conservation loans
  • $415 million in community development loans
  • $156 million in loans that achieved both environmental and community impact
  • $3.3 billion in cumulative mission investment and 52,000 affordable housing units financed

Highlights of 2006 Mission Investment Loans

$223 million for residential real estate $152 million to small businesses $40 million to faith-based and nonprofit organizations

Business Lines

Services to local customers by banks and nonprofit affiliates

  • Residential real estate loans that strengthen communities, provide affordable housing, and build borrowers' wealth
  • Loans to small businesses and faith-based and nonprofit organizations that create jobs and expand community services

Conservation loans for projects that reduce energy consumption, remediate contamination, or support green business practices

Bank deposit and retail services

  • ShoreBank, ShoreBank Pacific, ShoreBank Enterprise Cleveland, ShoreBank Enterprise Detroit, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, and Northern Initiatives

Services to financial services companies

The Center for Finanical Services Innovation works with organizations committed to providing affordable financial services to the underbanked in the U.S. ShoreBank International provides consulting and training services to financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. ShoreCap International invests equity in financial institutions in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. ShoreCap Exchange provides technical assistance to the same institutions. Employees

Key facts

578 total employees in the U.S. and in international offices

56% are African American.

43% of officers and 28% of senior managers are minorities.

54% of officers and 30% of senior managers are women.


Shareholders include financial institutions, foundations, insurance companies, major corporations, and individuals.