Midland States Bank Announces Community Development Plan
EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS – September 29, 2014 – Midland States Bank today announced the adoption of a bank-wide Community Development Plan (CDP). Midland’s CDP is partly designed to assist first time and lower income home buyers in its communities. Other features of the plan are designed to help customers establish good credit or repair past credit problems and to make credit more available to minority and women-owned businesses.
Jeff Mefford, Senior Vice President for Community Banking at Midland said “In today’s world, being able to establish credit, or repair past credit problems, is vital. The past few years have been very tough for a large number of Americans, but lower income families, and families who fell behind in their loan or credit card payments, have been especially hard hit. We want to help members of our communities move past those problems, especially with regard to purchasing a home.”
Two of Midland’s new lending programs, an affordable residential mortgage program and an affordable home repair program, will make it easier for lower income applicants to obtain a loan by offering reduced application fees and/or reduced monthly payments. Other programs, such as free and “second chance” checking accounts, are designed to help customers establish stronger credit.
Midland’s announcement of its CDP follows its hiring in January 2014 of David Noble to serve as Community Development and CRA Officer. Noble, who has a strong background in community economic development and reinvestment activities, especially in the St. Louis area, is the co-founder and Chair of the Executive Board of Directors of the Metropolitan St. Louis CRA Association, and was recently appointed by the Mayor of St. Louis to serve on the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency Board of Commissioners.
Leon Holschbach, Midland’s president and CEO, said, “For the past 130 years Midland has principally served smaller, mostly rural areas. Our recent growth has brought us more into urban communities like St. Louis in Missouri and Joliet in Illinois. Our CDP reflects this growth. We look forward to serving a more diverse customer base, including retail customers and business owners.”
Another aspect of the CDP is educational. Midland intends to work with community groups in its markets to offer a number of educational workshops to help community members gain a better understanding of their finances, the credit and credit reporting process, and the types of banking services available to help them reach their goals. Holschbach continued, “We have spent the past eight months talking with more than 150 community groups across our footprint to determine ways to bring our “Great Strength, More Heart” banking philosophy to all our communities. Our CDP reflects the input we received from these groups. And it is particularly heartening to have the opportunity to partner with groups who are effective in helping their constituents. We are a results oriented company. Whether it is internal with our employees, or external with vendors or community groups, we strive to work with those who know how to drive results. These educational programs, coupled with banking products that help people establish better credit and more affordable mortgage products, are intended to create a path to home ownership for hard working families who have faced obstacles in the past.”
Midland also intends to make its CDP publicly available, and to provide annual assessments of its performance. David Noble noted, “I’m the person principally charged with executing the CDP, but I will also be working closely with each of Midland’s Regional Market Presidents, our executive management and our branch network team, and I fully expect our CDP will have a tremendous impact on all of our communities. Posting the CDP and annual assessments on our website will help create the type of transparency and accountability that drives results. We have already begun to develop a local plan for each of Midland’s regions.”
About Midland States Bancorp, Inc.
Midland States Bancorp, Inc. is a community-based financial holding company headquartered in Effingham, Illinois, and is rated “5 Stars” by Bauer Financial, a rating reserved for only the strongest financial institutions in the U.S. It has current assets of approximately $1.8 billion and Midland Wealth Management has assets under administration of more than $1.1 billion. Established in 1881, Midland States Bank, the company’s banking subsidiary, prides itself on establishing and maintaining relationships with its customers and is committed to the financial needs of the communities it serves. For additional information, visit http://www.midlandsb.com.
Sr. Vice President, Community Banking