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Yesterday night, the Long Beach City Council made significant progress in expanding banking opportunities to underserved communities. We approved a multi-year contract with Union Bank that will not only provide savings to the City, but create traditional banking services in West and North Long Beach, and retain a Community Bank in Central Long Beach.
A couple of months ago, the Council had received a proposal to enter into a new banking contract that would not have expanded services into unserved communities. However, thanks to the Council's leadership - especially from Councilmembers James Johnson, Steve Neal and Rae Gabelich - we asked for and got a new contract with new services, and a better deal for taxpayers.
Currently, residents in West Long Beach and North Long Beach have no access to banking services. Instead, they are surrounded by predatory lenders and check cashing stores with outrageous interest rates. This new contract will provide these communities with full service ATM's. Additionally, the contract will keep the Union Bank Community Bank on Atlantic Ave. in Central Long Beach open.
A special thanks to our city's financial staff who worked very hard on this deal.
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