Wainwright Bank

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Wainwright Bank & Trust Company
HeadquartersBoston, MA
Key people
Jan A. Miller, President; Robert Glassman and John Plukas founders
ProductsFinancial Services

Wainwright Bank was a nationally recognized socially progressive bank in Boston, lauded as a "rebel with a cause making its reputation as a champion of social-justice causes, throwing its support behind everything from the gay-rights movement and affordable housing initiatives to immigration reform and the anti-Iraq war movement."[1] There are 12 branch offices in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Watertown and Somerville. The current president is Jan A. Miller. Wainwright has made community development, affordable housing, civil and human rights, and other social issues a prominent focus of its activities and has a documented history of leadership in supporting social justice efforts. Wainwright was featured in three recent books on this topic: in 2005, Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism by Patrician Aburdene;[2] in 2006, named as a “truly responsible and highly profitable firm that is changing business now” in The High Purpose Company by Christine Arena ;[3] and in 2008 in the Soul of a Leader[4] by Margaret Benefiel PhD, CEO of Executive Soul and a teacher of spirituality and leadership at Andover Newton Theological School.

In June 2010 it was announced that Wainwright will be bought by the somewhat larger local regional Eastern Bank for $163 million. The purchase is to be completed by the end of 2010. Wainwright branches, staff and community involvement are to continue, but the name will be dropped. Senior Wainwright management will have positions with Eastern Bank. [5] [6] [7]

Mission and Values[edit]

The bank has been a strong advocate for universal civil rights for gays and lesbians. It testified in 1996 before the US Congressional Committee on Small Business to endorse the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) .[8] It supported equality for women by endorsing the National Organization for Women’s Women Friendly Workplace Pledge in 1997.[9] Wainwright has been credited as a leader in urging the Massachusetts Banker’s health insurance group to offer same-sex health benefits to all its member banks.[10]

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the bank is a leader and an innovator in its community development lending efforts and has an outstanding record of helping to meet the credit needs of its assessment area, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, receiving an "outstanding" rating for its 2008 Community Reinvestment Act Performance Evaluation [11]

The bulk of Wainwright Bank and Trust Co.'s commercial loan portfolio finances socially responsible community development projects.[12]

Wainwright has made substantial commitments to environmental sustainability in its infrastructure as well as its products. Two of the most recent of its 12 branches - Coolidge Corner [13] and Newton [14] have received Silver and Gold certifications respectively under the LEED internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a "concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions." [15] In 2008 Wainwright sited its 12th branch in the Dorchester, MA Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) building adjacent to the MBTA’s Ashmont Red Line Station in Dorchester.[16]

Wainwright Bank’s Green Loan was first offered in 2001, and provides a discounted home equity loan rate for energy efficient home improvements including the installation of solar panels, passive heating systems, green roofs, wind energy and more.[17]

Internally, the Bank has management practices that have been lauded nationally as among the most progressive. Diversity is reflected in the 22 languages spoken by employees; it has "one of the most diverse boards of any commercial bank in the country with women or minorities comprising close to 40% of the directors. Over 50% of officers are women, approximately 10% of employees are openly gay or lesbian, including two senior vice presidents, and minorities comprise over 33% of its employee base."[18]


The bank was founded on 28 July 1987 by John Plukas and Robert Glassman and opened public stock sales nine months later, on 13 October 1988.

In 1989, the bank inaugurated a Social Justice Award "to recognize nonprofits and affiliated individuals who have achieved outstanding success in addressing issues of social justice." Recipients of the award are given a grant of $10,000.

By 1989, the bank posted a profit of $1,300,000.

In 1994 Wainwright offered same-sex medical benefits to employees.[10]

In 1997 Wainwright purchased a 30% interest in Trillium Assets Management Inc., the oldest and largest independent investment management firm in the U.S. exclusively devoted to socially responsible investing.[19] That year Wainwright also publicly supported the NOW Women Friendly Workplace Pledge National Organization for Women.[20][9] In 1997, the bank received the first of 10 awards to date from the US Treasury Community Development financial institutions fund – known as the Bank Enterprise Cash Award (BEA)[21] followed by awards in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009. The Bank Enterprise Award Program was created in 1994 to support Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured financial institutions around the country that are dedicated to financing and supporting community and economic development activities. In 1998, Business Ethics cited it in its annual awards "for dedication to social justice, internally and externally." In 2006, Business Ethics again cited Wainwright, ranking it 18th of "100 best corporate citizens", stating that it had provided more than $400 million in loans to development projects such as affordable housing and homeless shelters. In 2007, the same magazine ranked it 38th.

In 1998, Wainwright becomes a signatory to CERES, "a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change."[22]

In 1999, Wainwright’s CommunityRoom.net was launched to provide free web pages to any nonprofit client of the bank and the ability to accept online donations.[12]

In 2003, the Community Investing Campaign commended Wainwright for its "building of economic opportunity and hope for individuals through community investing" and for granting the Silent Spring Institute a line of credit for breast cancer research.

In 2004 SustainableBusiness.com announced Wainwright as of the World's Top 20 Sustainable Stocks, recommended as a company that stands out as a world leader in sustainability and financial strength by leading social/ environmental investment analysts.[23]

On November 15, 2004 KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., an independent investment research firm, announced that Wainwright Bank & Trust Company had been added to KLD's Domini 400 SocialSM Index (DS 400 Index).[24]

2006 - Wainwright offered the Equal Exchange Certificate of Deposit the first "branded CD" in partnership with the Fair Trade coffee and chocolate cooperative company.[25]

2008 – Wainwright receives an “outstanding” rating for its 2008 Community Reinvestment Act Performance Evaluation[26] On 18 November 2008, the bank announced that it had received a $25,000,000 allocation, jointly with Affirmative Investments of Boston, under the New Markets Tax Credits programme. The allocation was awarded, in the sixth round, to provide financing for projects in four "highly distressed" Boston neighbourhoods — Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury.


  1. ^ http://www.bankdirector.com/issues/articles.pl?article_id=11877
  2. ^ "Patricia Aburdene - author of Conscious Money and Megatrends, speaker on corporate transformation and conscious capitalism". www.patriciaaburdene.com.
  3. ^ "Book Details".
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Wallack, Todd (30 June 2010). "Eastern Bank to buy Wainwright" – via The Boston Globe.
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ "Congress.gov - Library of Congress". thomas.loc.gov.
  9. ^ a b http://www.bostonnow.org/womfrienworc.html
  10. ^ a b "Partners Task Force - Private Employment Benefits". www.buddybuddy.com.
  11. ^ http://www.mass.gov/Eoca/docs/dob/wainw.pdf.
  12. ^ a b http://www.americanbanker.com/article.html?id=200711270FIUFNQE
  13. ^ http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=1879
  14. ^ http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=2809
  15. ^ "LEED - USGBC". www.usgbc.org.
  16. ^ "Mayor Celebrates Five New Businesses, Completion of Carruth Building - City of Boston". www.cityofboston.gov.
  17. ^ "SocialFunds.com: Socially Responsible Investing News and Information". www.socialfunds.com.
  18. ^ "The Center for Collaborative Leadership - University of Massachusetts Boston" (PDF). www.leaders.umb.edu.
  19. ^ http://trilliuminvest.com/about/
  20. ^ http://now.org/issues/wfw/empledge.html
  21. ^ http://www.cdfifund.gov/awardees/db/profile.asp?controlNumber=081BE0076533
  22. ^ "Homepage". Ceres.
  23. ^ http://www.world-wire.com/news/0819040001.html
  24. ^ "ESG Integration - MSCI".
  25. ^ "Wainwright Bank and Equal Exchange Partner to Offer the First Branded Certificate of Deposit". www.socialfunds.com.
  26. ^ http://www.mass.gov/Eoca/docs/dob/wainw.pdf

External links[edit]