A new branch of the Midwest BankCentre will be the first full-serviced bank in the Wells/Goodfellow neighborhood in north St. Louis.
Since the soft opening, the bank has already opened 150 accounts.
Opening this bank wouldn't have been possible without the partnership with the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. The bank is leasing out an unused part of the church for the next several years, and the bank says they already have plans to renew.
Shelon Murff works next door to the bank as a dental assistant and opened her new account on Friday. Murff will contribute to the $6 million from deposits and loans already made at this new branch since it's soft opening.
"Being able to save money and generate money for the city is a wonderful thing," said Murff.
Without a nearby bank for almost a decade, it left neighbors with a long commute to access their money.
"The closet bank is over there on Skinker at the end of Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. and you know that's a ways to travel if you don't have a car," said David Clinton, who lives in the community and opened an account with this new branch.
Clinton used to commute to his bank by bus, but now he doesn't even need transportation.
"You know just go across the street and make your withdrawal," said Clinton.
The bank says they hope to bring this community back to what it was in the 50s and 60s.
"Just 3/4 of a mile west of here there was a huge JC Penny's department store, grocery store, drug store. We want that kind of investment back here again because this community deserves it," said Alex Fennoy, the Executive Vice President of Midwest BankCentre,
The church is also going to offer tax filing help, computer classes, and other fiscally educational opportunities.
"What we'll do together is financial education, financial empowerment, and volunteer events together in this community," said Fennoy.
Revitalization comes with helping the community reach goals that used to seem unachievable. On Friday, the bank talked with Murff about her options to buy her first home in the near future. Right now, she is currently renting.
"I want to find a place that I can call mine and leave to my children," said Murff.
The grand opening celebration continues on Saturday. The bank and church are hosting a carnival across the street with food, games and are providing materials on financial education.
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