Amalgamated (meaning “to unite”) Bank is a financial institution that is not the typical big money bank in that it’s created by labor unions, for labor unions. As noted by a feature in The Washington Post, Amalgamated Bank is focused “more [on] worker solidarity than bottom-line profit.” Now, the bank is looking to expand its national reach.
The bank made news during last year’s presidential election race when the Democratic National Committee announced that it was pulling off of its fund from the Wall Street giant, Bank of America. Keith Mestrich, senior vice president of Amalgamated Bank, said that the bank is looking to step higher onto the national stage.
“Over time, national organizations have taken on a greater importance,” said Mestrich. “Many of them have ended up here in Washington because they’re increasingly trying to influence Congress and national policy.”
The Washington Post indicated that the bank, after garnering favor from ex-Obama staff and Democrats, is looking “to position itself as the bank of the left.” Mestrich is now in charge of the bank’s new efforts in Washington.
After the bank won the DNC as a customer, over 100 “new unions, non-profits and Democratic party campaigns have opened commercial accounts at the bank” and deposits in the D.C. area alone have risen 70 percent.
When the economy turned south, Amalgamated Bank lost millions of dollars, but have clearly bounced back with their recent success in offering a new platform of banking. Many of the employees are also union members.