The Bank Slate


Group backing proposed mutual makes first loans

Organizers of the proposed Walden Mutual Bank in Concord, N.H., have made their first loans, using seed capital raised as part of their de novo effort. 

The group has originated loans to a wholesale bakery in Katonah, N.Y.; an egg farm in Mont Vernon, N.H.; and a dairy farm in Cobleskill, N.Y., Charley Cummings, the proposed bank’s founder, said in an email. 

“These are all owned and run by pioneers in the local food movement — all three women,” Cummings said. 

Organizers are also working on their first revolving loan fund to support new immigrant and refugee farmers with equipment and technical assistance. The effort is part of a partnership with a New Hampshire nonprofit. 

Walden Mutual aims to become the first new mutual in the U.S. since the 1970s. Organizers filed an application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in September; the application was officially accepted on March 18. 

Cummings said in his email that organizer plans to use “special deposits” – which are authorized under New Hampshire state law – to help capitalize the mutual. He said the group is working to make sure the deposits meet all of the requirements for Tier 1 capital. 

“We still have work to do to put the finishing touches on our processing systems and technology while we wait for the regulatory go ahead,” Cummings added.

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