Business banking organizations and other financial services are adding community enrichment to their repertoires through media image and applied activism in California.

Growing with a positive message
One institution hoping to convince consumers its mission is to serve customers better than current national banks has hired Maya Angelou and James Olmos as the faces of its recently announced marketing campaign.

Art Smith, CMO of Union Bank, said his organization's effort to bring in new account holders is coming at a prime time in private and business banking.

"Our research shows that big banks are vulnerable now," he told AdWeek. "People are highly skeptical of the banking industry and are willing to move their money."

The company hopes the use of poet Angelou and Latino actor-director Olmos will inspire community members to see the benefits of working with smaller banks that cater to local areas. The slogan, "Doing right, it's just good business," will be printed in magazines, heard on the radio, run on TV and pushed out through social media with the two celebrities' signature personalities adding to the idea of humanitarianism in banking, AdWeek reports.

While the business is currently operating on the West Coast exclusively, the source claims experts say it is looking to move quickly to the top of the industry in size and assets between now and 2018, when Smith says the company is looking to rank in the top 10 national banks.

Taking action for better business
Another industry player, U.S. Bank, is using its funds for good in the form of a major donation to San Diego low-income housing construction. The organization will put $48 million toward the city's BRIDGE housing organization, which was founded by a large anonymous gift 30 years ago intended to increase the availability of affordable housing in the area.

BRIDGE CEO Cynthia Parker believes the financial support of the business banking company will make a great positive impact on the city of San Diego.

"More than 40 percent of Californians are unable to afford a two-bedroom apartment at market rents," Parker said in a statement. "With many California counties ranking as the least affordable in the nation, working families are hard-pressed to find, let alone afford, quality housing in their communities."

U.S. Bank was granted the Financial Supporter of the Year award at 2012's Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing conference, which shows the funding issued to BRIDGE is just one of many humanitarian efforts the organization has embarked on in recent years.