Chicago bank looks to craft identity through community development (Medill Reports)

The story of Urban Partnership Bank is unconventional, to say the least.

The upstart bank was in essence born out of the rubble of a failed business, after its South Side predecessor -- ShoreBank, known for its willingness to lend to less-than-prosperous borrowers that most banks turned their backs on -- was devastated by the real estate bubble.

Shorebank, formed decades ago specifically to increase borrowing opportunities for low-income consumers, earned a reputation as a socially conscious community bank.

Now its successor, Urban Partnership Bank, is in the process of defining itself ----a bold attempt to stand out in an intensely competitive industry dominated by institutions that offer almost exactly the same interest ratesand strikingly similar consumer products.

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