Vista Bank To Open In South Dallas Making It The First New Bank In The Area In Almost 30 Years

 6:44 PM CDT May 3, 2024 

DALLAS — To much is given, much is required. “I grew up in South Dallas. I went to Charles Wright Elementary,” said James McGee, Southern Dallas Progress CDC President and Board Chair.

McGee spent about 20 years working in banking. What he saw in his South Dallas community, he could not let stand. 

“When I actually counted the number of branches particularly within Southern Dallas. At that time, it was less than 60. Look at the ones up north. There were over 400,” said McGee. 

It is a major gap that he aims to close.

WFAA spoke with McGee during our “Banking Below 30” series. The investigative series showed that banks had been purposely underserving Southern Dallas which is predominantly made up of Black and Hispanic communities. It is done through a practice called redlining which is a discriminatory practice to deny certain financial services.

Now, after almost 30 years, South Dallas is getting a new bank, Vista Bank.

“I think it’s a move in the right direction as far as banking,” said McGee.

The bank is located on M.L.K. Jr and J B Jackson Jr Boulevards in place of the old Social Security building. 

“If you think about people coming to where they used to come and collect checks to now come and start a business,” said Cathy Landtroop, Vista Bank’s Chief Communications Officer.

Landtroop said the $3M investment not only be a banking option for residents but provide year-round education through their Financial Literacy Center. 

“We’re willing to do what it takes to try to make a difference because what has been going on hasn’t been working,” said Landtroop.

Vista Bank is partnering with groups such as the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Southern Dallas Fair Park Innovation Center and McGee’s Southern Dallas Progress. 

“They’re actually walking the walk and talking the talk,” said McGee.

“We’re willing to find a path to yeses. The ultimate goal here is maybe you’re not ready to be a client today, but how do we help you put you on the path to success and a path to say yes,” said Landtroop.

They plan to fight years of no’s. 

“To see them come in to that community, I can do something positive for it all these years later, it’s a wonderful feeling,” said McGee.

Those behind the bank told WFAA this has been a vision for about four years. The grand opening is Monday at 10 a.m.

Read Full Article