The mission of Legacy Bank (Legacy) is to increase shareholder value by being a leader and innovator in the provision of financial services to the underserved. As a commercial bank, Legacy is involved in building small businesses, increasing home ownership, and developing the economic base of their community. By helping one individual at a time, Legacy reinvests itself in the community. Since 2001, Legacy's assets have grown from $40 million to over $220,000,000.00
Legacy Bank Financial Liberty Account: This banking program, under the auspices of the First Accounts Program, provides financial services to individuals who do not utilize bank accounts or other financial services. It provides free tax return preparation and checking, savings and money market accounts.
In addition, Legacy offers traditional products such as business, personal, money market and primary checking accounts, Certificates of Deposits, Individual Development Accounts, IRA's, minor and senior savings accounts, auto loans, mortgages and home equity lines of credit. On the commercial side, the bank offers advised lines of credit, business term loans, commercial real estate loans, and other types of loans. Charged with the desire to positively impact the community, the bank offers home buying seminars, credit counseling and financial management classes.
Investments and significant deposits provide funds for lending programs that support economic development in targeted areas.
Legacy serves a broad range of individuals. Sixty-six percent of the bank's customers are African-American, 30% are Caucasian, 2% are Hispanic, and an additional 2% are Native American. The bank primarily serves customers from its Milwaukee location; thus, all of its clients live in minor urban areas with populations of less than one million. Approximately 45% of the bank's clients are female and half live with household incomes at or below 80% of the area's median income level. Although the bank does not discriminate, it seeks to actively serve otherwise underserved individuals and communities in its area.
Since its inception, Legacy Bank has created or sustained over 6500 jobs by providing financing for small businesses and individuals. While Legacy has slowed the decline of the neighborhood it is located in through its revitalization efforts, the current economic situation has adversely impacted hundreds of small business customers. The bank has shifted the focus towards helping these businesses survive. There is also a serious lack of capital in the community and the bank is continuing to lend but has had to reduce the number of loans due to the demand exceeding capacity. The impact of the bank is being affected by the lack of deposits to fund the loan demand.
After declaring bankruptcy, Kathy Varga was left without a checking account. Traditional banks would not provide her with an account based on her poor credit history. Not only was this inconvenient, but she incurred unnecessary expense in order to purchase money orders to pay bills and cash checks at check cashing entities. Eventually, Varga heard about Legacy Bank’s financial services and opened a Financial Liberty Checking Account. In essence, she was given a second chance. Full Story