Wednesday, August 25, 2021

New Hampshire group planning ag-focused mutual bank

A group in New Hampshire is looking to form the first new mutual in more than four decades.

Organizers of Walden Mutual Bank expect to submit a new bank application this summer in hopes of opening the depositor-owned financial institution next year, according to the proposed mutual’s website.

“We’re creating an online bank for everyone who eats, makes, grows cooks, or just loves our local food,” the group said on its website. The plan is to offer online savings accounts that directly support local food and agriculture.

“We’re lending to sustainable food innovators across New England and New York while creating savings accounts that directly support those ventures,” the group said. “We believe that food is more than just a product, when made sustainably, it has the ability to create a thriving economy, environment, community, and culture.”

The effort is being led by Charley Cummings, who created and led Walden Local, a sustainable meat startup.

The last mutual savings bank charter was issued to Volunteer Federal Savings Bank in Madisonville, Tenn., in January 1973, according to American Banker.

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