City treasurer moves to bolster community lending in Albany Park, other Northwest Side neighborhoods

By Brian J. Rogal, Chicago Tribune


Albank exteriorThe Chicago treasurer’s office deposited $10 million of its cash holdings into Albany Bank & Trust Co., a community bank on the Northwest Side, in a move aimed at bolstering affordable housing construction and small business creation in neighborhoods such as Albany Park, according to City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin.


Albank is the only independent community bank currently approved to handle city deposits, the others being regional or national banks, and Conyears-Ervin said its tight-knit community relationships ensure taxpayer dollars will go where they’re most needed.


“We know community banks are more inclined to invest directly in our residents and our small business owners,” she said.


Albank has $700 million in assets, and most often provides capital for affordable housing in 25 Northwest and Northwest Side community areas, including many multifamily developments, along with some small business loans.


“That’s our bread and butter,” said Senior Vice President Adam Steinback. “Our lending is very heavily focused on community and economic development serving low- to moderate-income residents. That’s what we do every day, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do even more of that.”


More than two-thirds of Albany Park’s more than 48,000 residents are minorities, and nearly 16% of its households get by on less than $25,000 a year, according to a 2022 report from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.


Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin

Conyears-Ervin said she has bigger goals than sparking new Northwest Side development. She wants more community banks, especially those on the South and West sides, to also secure the necessary approval from City Council and handle city deposits, hopefully leading to more lending in neighborhoods suffering from disinvestment.


“Our biggest hurdle is getting smaller banks to apply,” she said. “Unfortunately, community banks have always felt, at least before I came into office, that this program didn’t include them. I want them to see this is something we’re serious about.”


Conyears-Ervin, treasurer since 2019 and an ally of Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, won reelection this year after running unopposed. In April, she announced the formation of an exploratory committee to challenge U.S. Rep. Danny Davis in next year’s Democratic primary.


City dollars have been deposited at Albank before, Steinback said, but the new cash infusion is a “more than tenfold” increase.


Earlier this year, the treasurer’s office also placed $25 million with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and according to Conyears-Ervin, the investments will help hundreds of low-to moderate-income homebuyers on the South and West sides get mortgages for single-family homes.


“We want to make sure we’re investing in all 77 of the city’s community areas,” she said.


A Message to our Customers


February  22, 2022 update


All of our locations are open regular business hours to service all your banking needs:

Chicago - Main Bank Phone (773) 267-7300
3400 W. Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

North Mayfair Branch Phone (773) 267-7300
4100 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630

Skokie Branch Phone (847) 677-2522
7515 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, IL 60077

Lincoln Square Branch Phone (773) 267-7300

4400 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625


24-hour Banking is available for your convenience:

* Online Banking Enroll now
* Mobile Banking App
* Telephone Banking 1(800) 252-2656 Telephone Banking Information
Our commitment is to assist you and adapt to your needs. Your business and patience are greatly appreciated.


Albank President, Robert Gecht, reflects on the financial crisis of 2008 with the Chicago Tribune in “Ten Years After The Fall”.  "’The hardest part of that was to see the suffering of my clients and customers -- people who had done everything right and nothing wrong -- and just see their businesses and their worlds collapse,’ said Gecht, 67, a fixture at the Northwest Side bank since 1981. Founded in 1953, Albany Bank has assets of about $600 million and $91 million in equity. While dozens of Chicago-area banks failed amid the recession and its aftermath, Albany never lost money, Gecht said.” Read more...

Robert Gecht



Albank is always interested in hard-working, team players who embody our "customer focused" mindset to join the Albank Team.  Our goal is to attain and retain employees who embrace our values and who are committed to providing our customers with exceptional service.

To apply for a position, please send us your resume:

Albany Bank
3400 W. Lawrence Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

Fax: (773) 267-7337 Attn: Human Resources


You can also stop by any of our branches to fill out an application. Thank you for your interest in Albank!

Albany Bank & Trust Company N.A. is an equal opportunity employer and affords equal opportunity to all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veterans status or any other status protected under local, state, or federal laws.






Learn More

External Transfers

Securely transfer money between your Albank account and your accounts at other financial institutions.

Back to Top
back to top