Lessons learned from successful development banks in U.S. communities
Credit Where It's Due
Development Banking for Communities
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Julia Ann Parzen and Michael Hall Kieschnick
Analyzing the field of community development banking, Parzen and Kieschnick explain how financial institutions can serve the economic development needs of communities in which they operate without sacrificing prudent banking practices. Relying on firsthand knowledge, the authors show why development banks are worthy of the attention of community development activists, financial institutions that want to improve their performance, and policymakers trying to fix the financial system. The authors describe the successes of a number of community development banks, such as South Shore Bank in Chicago, Northern Community Investment Corporation in Vermont, and Self Help Credit Union in North Carolina.
Parzen and Kieschnick explore the factors that contribute to or limit development bank effectiveness, and they focus on how banks come to terms with conflicts between serving their markets and surviving. They offer a plan for achieving the full economic development potential of development banking, including specific steps for development bankers, mainstream financial institution, government agencies, and foundations.
"Credit Where It's Due makes an important contribution in a vitally needed area of financial services. At a time of depressed economic activity, financial failure, and insupportable debt, this work shows how to mobilize capital where it is needed most urgently. This comprehensive work points the way for effectively utilizing this important tool to meet the growth needs of our society."
"Finally! This is a book that puts both bankers and community organizers reading from the same page. If bankers had read this book ten years ago, some might have avoided billions of dollars in red ink, some might have kept out of jail, and whole communities could have been saved and revived with the money invested. A careful and close reading of Credit Where It's Due will help direct all of us in moving capital to its use for the greatest good: creating affordable housing and jobs."
"This is a thorough discussion of the rationale for several types of development finance institutions; it will raise the level of debate and improve the chances of further adaptation and experimentation in the light of growing U.S. need for such vehicles."
"This well-crafted book...is essential reading not only for those directly involved in creating development banks, but also for anyone working in the economic development field."
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Julia Ann Parzen is a Program Consultant in economic development and conservation for the Joyce Foundation.
Michael Hall Kieschnick is President of Muir Investment Trust and Sand County Ventures in San Francisco.