ShoreBank successor to close two Chicago branches

By Becky Yerak
Posted Jan. 3 at 11:15 a.m.

Urban Partnership Bank, the successor to failed ShoreBank, is telling customers that on March 17 it will close its branches at 4659 S. Cottage Grove in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago and at 3401 S. King Drive in the Bronzeville area of the city.

“With current market conditions making expansion less expensive and real estate more available, we have decided to explore new retail branch locations to better serve our customers,” Urban Partnership said in a letter to customers obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Urban Partnership said in the letter that it’s “actively seeking new locations” in Chicago and in Cleveland, where it is also closing a branch, “that will be accessible with the latest technologies” and more convenient.

Urban Partnership characterized the closings as a “temporary disruption.”

“We will notify you as soon as possible with the appropriate information on our new or alternate locations,” it said

Urban Partnership said it will also close its nonprofit financial service center at 134 N. LaSalle St. in Chicago.

In August, the company that bought ShoreBank cut about 60 of the more than 300 positions at the recently failed South Side lender. It now has nearly two dozen unfilled positions that it’s seeking to fill, spokesman Brian Berg said.

Urban Partnership, which on Aug. 20 acquired ShoreBank through a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said the job cuts were “a difficult decision” but “a smaller workforce is needed going forward in order for Urban Partnership Bank to continue the mission and to be a strong, sustainable player in our communities.”

Urban Partnership, which was chartered with $137 million in capital, has nearly $1.4 billion in assets. That makes it more than a third smaller than ShoreBank, which was felled by rising levels of seriously delinquent loans.

Major investors of Urban Partnership include American Express Co., Citigroup Inc., GE Capital Equity Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, State Farm, Northern Trust Corp., Harris Bankcorp, Morgan Stanley, PNC Investment Corp, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation.

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