The local bank needed to differentiate itself in a relevant way to attract deposits to support its growth. The large national banks had dozens of branches across the city and offered basically the same rates.
To outmaneuver the larger institutions, Community Bank decided to offer a new product the others couldn't match. It introduced an account called the Oakland First Fund that ensured all new designated deposits would be loaned back into the community. This new product gave the bank something unique to promote that was relevant to the community. It also helped create a brand image as someone who cared.
After the first two years, the Oakland First Fund exceeded its goal, taking in $25,000,000 in deposits. Based on its success, the bank introduced an innovative environmental product called the Bay Area Green Fund.