Posted By Cliff Tuttle | September 16, 2012
No. 907 Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking visited the Shadyside Ice Cream Store that wants to be a bank, apparently concluding that it was an ice-cream store, not a bank. For now, there will be no regulatory action, but if the owner of Whalebone Bank expands his product line beyond ice-cream gift cards, there might be.
The oldest among us are too young to remember the days when building and loan associations were popping upon every corner. A century and more ago, big banks were viewed in the working class and ethnic neighborhoods of our city as elitist bigots. So the residents of these neighborhoods formed their own associations, which invested primarily in mortgages of homes in their own neighborhood. These mutual associations were owned by members from the neighborhood and were managed by directors from the neighborhood. After the savings and loan crisis of the 1980′s, the federal regulators dismantled much of this system in order to capitalize the thrifts though stock conversions and then mergers.
Nevertheless, through more than a century of change, the wealth and welfare of the community still remains central to the successors of neighborhood associations that started in the back rooms of bars and other retail establishments like dairy stores.
Yes, there are still community banks in this town, and, incidentally, there are community-oriented credit unions, too.
I’ll take two scoops, please!
| Post a Comment