Beneficial State Bank & Beneficial State Foundation
On the eve of the great recession, Kat co-founded, with her husband Tom Steyer, a new kind of bank in Oakland, California.
Dedicated to helping people and protecting the planet while thriving as a business, Beneficial State Bank helped inspire a growing movement of ventures adopting a triple-bottom-line approach that values people, the planet, as well as profits. The bank now operates across California, Oregon, and Washington. Today, Kat serves as the Board Chair of the bank, which is both a Community Development Financial Institution and a certified B Corporation.
Beneficial State Bank has an unusual nonprofit ownership structure, with a mission to build prosperity in our communities through beneficial banking services delivered in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. During the bank’s inception, Kat and Tom transferred their economic rights to the Beneficial State Foundation, freeing up the bank to optimize its social and environmental impact rather than maximize profits. Continuously learning from what works in the field, Beneficial State Foundation’s mission is to change the banking system for good.
Beneficial State’s mission targets at least 75% of both loans and loan dollars to impact endeavors, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals who are producing sustainable and socially just goods and services. The other 25% of lending cannot do harm or undermine the bank’s mission. Beneficial State is radically transparent and regularly publishes third-party audited, data-driven metrics as evidenced by its Annual Impact Reports.
Beneficial State has been honored with the “Best for the World” B Corp designation for creating extraordinary positive impact as a business by an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the nonprofit B Lab.