Spotlight on American Trust & Savings Bank
Investing in the communities they serve
The “Spotlight” of this first newsletter issue of 2017 beams strong as it profiles American Trust & Savings Bank, a generous and loyal donor to the PCHTF’s “Combined Campaign for Housing” with increased gifts totaling over $27,000 for the past four years. Brian Hillebrand, Executive VP and Market President at American Trust (pictured) knows how critical supportive services can be to housing stabilization and self-sufficiency because he serves on PCHTF’s Programs and Supportive Services Committee. This volunteer committee reviews applications for funding through our Combined Campaign for Housing.
As a family-owned Iowa bank, American Trust was built by families to serve families. They believe that the fiscal health of the community is only as strong as the financial health of its residents. Explains Brian, “our family of bankers through the last 100 years have considered it a privilege and a responsibility to lend the bank’s capital to families and businesses to help them achieve their goals for success.”
Brian humbly acknowledges that much of American Trust’s recent past success is attributed to the positive economic environment made possible through many public-private development partnerships. He notes the bank has played a leading role in these partnerships, again because the family feels it’s the right thing to do. “We believe in reinvesting our resources for large-scale housing, economic development, and philanthropy to improve the quality of life for everyone in the communities we serve.”
American Trust bankers understand there are many paths to quality housing and pride themselves on helping customers navigate the best path for them. “All people, including low income, minorities, homeless, veterans, and seniors, deserve a safe and satisfying place to call home,” says Brian.
For those for whom ownership is not an option, American Trust invests in housing initiatives to create affordable rental housing for low- to moderate-income families, such as mixed-income projects through tax credits, recapitalized public housing projects, single room occupancy projects, and veterans and senior supportive housing services. “Bankers want to provide mortgages to as many qualified borrowers as possible and to do so in a way that encourages a positive future relationship. As with other businesses, banks understand that reaching out to low-income and minority populations make good business sense.” One in every four Americans is a member of a minority group, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. According to a 2012 study by the University of Georgia, the buying power of minorities in the U.S has grown into a diverse and formidable consumer market in the last decade.
When asked about affordable housing’s impact personally Brian reflects, “as a community banker, I have a vested interest in encouraging homeownership that is fair and affordable. It’s the reason I serve on the Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s Program and Supportive Services Committee. My team of lenders and I are committed to helping more residents qualify for loans and helping them get the resources that best meet their needs. Together, we’re working to anticipate and meet Polk County’s housing needs today and tomorrow.” And this rings very true. We thank Brian and his team for the value they place on aligning the importance of housing access to their philanthropic philosophy and by doing so, break down barriers.