DEFINITION of 'Morris Plan Bank'

A type of bank first established in 1910 to lend money to individuals who couldn't obtain loans from mainstream banks. Fidelity Savings & Trust Co. was the first Morris Plan bank. By 1931, there were 109 Morris Plan banks; however, that number declined after the economy recovered from the Great Depression and commercial banks began offering similar loans.

BREAKING DOWN 'Morris Plan Bank'

Named after the Morris Plan's founder, Virgina lawyer Arthur Morris, Morris Plan banks had a unique lending strategy. They did not require collateral for loans, but instead considered the character and community standing of applicants by requiring two endorsers. All three were required to fill out an application covering character, financial history, employment and wages. If the loan was granted, the borrower ended up paying a relatively high rate of interest.

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