Article PhotoOn Friday’s Marketplace program from American Public Media, I heard a story about a new bank , New Resource Bank, which specializes in making loans to clean energy companies.   The Denver NPR station does not actually carry Marketplace, but I often listen to the podcast.

I’ve been looking for a new bank anyway… until now I’ve been using a brokerage account as my business account, but I am finding that the inability to wire funds makes it awkward. 

On a financial level, their offerings seem uninspiring (in terms of interest earned on accounts.)  For a business checking account like I am considering, I would need to maintain a balance of $4000 vs. a more normal $1000 to avoid monthly fees.  That amounts to an annual cost in lost interest compared to the brokerage account I currently use of about $150-$200 a year (I keep excess cash in brokerage CDs earning around 5%), in exchange for the added convenience of ACH (Automated Clearing House) and EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer.)   I also get the benefit of knowing my money is financing clean energy projects… certainly worth something.  One thing I will have to ask them is if I can keep money in CDs with them that might count towards the $4000 minimum balance.  [Note: I heard back from them on this: CDs do not count towards the $4000 minimum balance for their small business checking account… although they do for their heigher service account with a $20,000 minimum balance (to avoid fees). ]

If you’re looking for a banking services, from mortgages to CDs to savings or checking accounts, I always reccommend people do some comparison shopping at, but if you’re looking for a bank that will put your money to good use, you might also consider New Resource.    I personally have lots of other green investments to put my money into, but for the money I leave in cash to run my business, New Resource seems like a good idea.

Other blogs: EcoTalk, WordChanging (where I found out about which has similar services… I’ve asked both for information.) and EquityGreen

I apparently also missed Joel Makower’s article in October. 

(And Preston at Jetson Green points out I missed his… Now that I see it, I think I remember reading it… all I can say is it was a very busy week.)

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