Today, we are spotlighting Sunrise Banks, a certified B Corporation and tremendous advocate for business as a force for good.
Sunrise Banks offers financially inclusive products that aim to better the lives of our clients in the Twin Cities Metro and beyond. The Sunrise family has been serving the urban core of Minneapolis and St. Paul since 1986, founded by current CEO David Reiling and his father, William. David Reiling is a social entrepreneur and innovator on the cutting edge of fintech and financial wellness. The focuses on positive community engagement and partners with like-minded companies to extend its mission nationally and around the world.
Sunrise is a certified B Corporation, a certified Community Development Financial Institution and member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. More information is available at www. sunrisebanks.com
Why did the bank become a Certified B Corporation?
Sunrise Banks has always tried to create a positive impact through its work – our mission is all about empowering financial wellness and helping others. Obtaining B Corp. certification seemed like a no-brainer given our emphasis on putting purpose over profit.
At the same time, the certification is great because it holds our feet to the fire. The B Lab certification – and recertification – process forces us to consistently reexamine how we’re running the business and what implications that might have. Certification makes us “walk the talk.”
How has becoming a B Corp benefitted Sunrise’s employees and customers?
The biggest advantage is that certification provides common ground for our values-minded employees and customers. This is something that clients want us to do – it shows them that we’re serious about being responsible financially and socially.
And frankly it’s a great recruiting tool for employees, too. More and more, workers look to their employers to not only be fair and responsible corporate citizens, but also entities that take a stand on social issues like environmental sustainability, which the B Lab certification process accounts for.
How is the bank using business as a force for good? What are some of your priorities as a B Corp?
Sunrise Banks’ mission is to be the most innovative bank empowering financial wellness. Our main goal is to create a more accessible and affordable banking experience for consumers. This takes many different forms, from partnering with fintechs to provide a responsible alternative to payday loans to partnering with Prepare and Prosper to offer FAIR, a program that provides bank accounts for low-income individuals.
We’re also strong advocates of affordable housing. In 2020, we created a Community Development Corporation that pooled funds from local organizations to preserve affordable housing in the Twin Cities. We also offer a mortgage program for prospective homebuyers who only have Individual Tax Identification Numbers as opposed to a Social Security Number.
Banks have an enormous amount of power – we’re the institutions that decide where money goes and how it’s spent. We feel we have a responsibility to use our influence in a way that deliberately lifts up individuals and neighborhoods that have been traditionally underserved.
Who are some of your role models in the business community? Who or what company can we all learn from?
There are so many Twin Cities organizations doing great things; it’s hard to choose just one. But most of the organizations we look up to most are those doing work centered around improving quality of life, especially for traditionally underrepresented populations. These include organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Avenues for Youth, Aeon, YouthLink and more.
We’re honored to get the opportunity to work with such great people.
What are some of the ways that the Minnesota B Local group can collectively deepen the positive impact in the state?
It’s so important to raise awareness. Too many companies think it’s impossible to “do well and do good.” Minnesota B Local and other regional groups are spreading the word about the B Corporation movement – and that in itself is a huge part of creating a positive impact in the state. The more companies know about how they can get involved, the more impact we can make.