Ypsilanti, MI, June 11, 2024 – University Bank announced today the grand opening of its new full-service banking center located at 301 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, Michigan will be on June 24, 2024. University Bank is a community bank dedicated to fostering financial inclusion, headquartered in Ann Arbor. The bank’s Ypsilanti branch is the first branch office of University Bank, and is the first new branch bank located in downtown Ypsilanti in many decades.

“We are proud to join the downtown Ypsilanti community with the grand opening of our full-service banking center,” said Benjamin Kramer, Senior Vice President of University Bank. “This expansion underscores University Bank’s unwavering commitment to providing accessible financial services to Michigan residents and businesses, while supporting economic vibrancy in underserved communities. We welcome the Ypsilanti community to join us as we celebrate our grand opening on June 24.”

Community banks make up the backbone of the country’s financial system, including funding up to 60% of the small business and 80% of the agricultural loans in the U.S. By providing personalized financial services designed for local communities, community banks consistently rank higher in customer satisfaction than both traditional banks and online lenders. Serving underserved markets, in nearly 30% of counties in the U.S., a community bank is the only financial service provider with a local banking center.

University Bank has a long history of involvement in Ypsilanti. For almost 3 decades University Bank has helped Ypsilanti community groups with funding, grants, and volunteer work. We stopped the historical redlining occurring in Ypsilanti, by giving assistance in the form of low-down payment loans and mortgages to Ypsilanti residents who didn’t qualify under standard programs. We put over $8,000,000 into the National Faith Homebuyers lending in Ypsilanti, covering over 100 homes, primarily on the south side of Ypsilanti. 100% of these loans paid in full and there were zero foreclosures despite lending up to 97% Loan to Value and with borrowers who had credit scores as low as 460, about 160 points under the then traditional cutoff point for qualifying for a mortgage loan.

You can learn more details about the work that University Bank has done to end redlining in Ypsilanti in this article:


University Bank has also been deeply involved in fostering child literacy in Ypsilanti. Three decades ago, University Bank President & CEO, Stephen Lange Ranzini assisted the Washtenaw County Ministerial Alliance under the leadership of Pastor Garther Roberson, to establish a non-profit that established after school and weekend child literacy programs. Mr. Ranzini served as the first CFO and Treasurer of their non-profit. More recently, University Bank worked with Pastor Willie Powell of Grace Fellowship Church to reestablish the Family Learning Institute with funding from University Bank. Pastor Willie Powell is the Vice Chair of University Bank’s board of directors.

You can learn more details about the work that University Bank has done in fostering child literacy in Ypsilanti in this article: https://annarborobserver.com/leveling-the-reading-field/.

Alma Wheeler Smith, former Michigan State Senator and Michigan State Representative, and the Chair of University Bank’s board of directors stated:

“University Bank has been forward-looking: tackling the poverty-ensuring legacy of redlining in Ypsilanti, creating religious-compliant, no-interest loan programs for Muslim borrowers, and putting women and minorities on the bank’s board before demands for racial and gender equity drove other banks to introduce those changes. That’s leadership, and it’s powerful and empowering.”

Ronnie D. Peterson, the former Michigan State Representative for District 54, which encompasses Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, noted:

“I have served my hometown of Ypsilanti as an elected official at the local, county and state level for the better part of the last four decades. Over the course of my career, I have encountered no one in the financial community who has displayed a greater commitment to diversity and social equity than University Bank President and CEO, Stephen Lange Ranzini. Stephen has led the charge to eradicate mortgage redlining in Ypsilanti and, under his leadership, both minority homeownership and local property values have seen marked increases. Stephen Lange Ranzini has demonstrated through his policies and actions that good corporate citizenship and profitability are not mutually exclusive objectives. He recognized the promise and trusted the integrity of the people of Ypsilanti when no other financial institution could, and the area’s resurgence in recent years is due, in large part, to the good work of Mr. Ranzini and the team of skilled bankers at University Bank.”

“As a community bank founded to provide Washtenaw County residents and businesses with personal, reliable banking and financial services, we look forward to increasing our ability to help Ypsilanti customers achieve their financial goals and supporting the long-term economic growth and security of the community,” said Kramer. “We are committed to continuing to grow our presence in the Ypsilanti community, both by filling a crucial gap in the community banking services available locally and supporting community events, partners and initiatives.”

University Bank’s Ypsilanti Banking Center will provide a wide range of financial products, services, and delivery channels tailored to meet the needs of local businesses and residents. At the downtown location, customers will receive personalized service and expert guidance to help navigate their financial journey, including financial counseling, financial education, financial and investment advice, personal checking and savings accounts, consumer lending support, residential mortgage loans, and commercial real estate loans.

A full range of insurance for individuals and businesses, including homeowners’ insurance, automobile insurance, life and health insurance and a variety of business and farm insurance is also available to our customers through our wholly owned independent insurance agency, Ann Arbor Insurance Centre.

Armando R. Cavazos retired as CEO of Credit Union One, one of the largest credit unions in southeast Michigan, in August of 2006 after a 33-year career in the credit union movement. He then joined University Bank’s board of directors, where he serves as Chair of the University Bank Compensation Committee. University Bank is more than just a financial institution. We are a partner invested in the success of the communities we serve,” said Mr. Cavazos. “Through strategic partnerships, community reinvestment initiatives, downpayment assistance programs and financial education programs, we are dedicated to making a positive impact and empowering individuals to achieve long-term financial well-being.”

University Bank will celebrate the grand opening of the downtown Ypsilanti branch with community members at a public event welcome to all members of the Ypsilanti area on Monday, June 24, from 10am to 1pm.

About University Bank

University Bank is an FDIC insured, locally owned and locally managed Community Bank primarily serving the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti of Washtenaw County, Michigan. The Community Banking division focuses on local businesses, local residents, and non-profit organizations. Other Community Banking specialties include highly competitive deposit products, residential real estate and commercial real estate mortgage lending, and business loans. A full range of insurance for individuals and businesses is also available to our customers through our wholly owned subsidiary Ann Arbor Insurance Centre.

For more information about University Bank’s full range of financial services, please visit https://www.university-bank.com.


Ben Kramer



Benjamin Kramer, SVP, Community Banking



State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith



Former State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith, Chair of University Bank’s
Board of Directors (l.) & Stephen Lange Ranzini, President & CEO of University Bank (r.)


Pastor Willie Powell, Vice Chair of University Bank’s Board of Directors (r.) & Lady Geraldine Powell, Grace Fellowship Church (l.)



Pastor Willie Powell, Vice Chair of University Bank’s Board of Directors (r.) & Lady Geraldine Powell, Grace Fellowship Church (l.)



Former State Representative Ronnie Peterson (l.) & Stephen Lange Ranzini, President & CEO of University Bank (r.)



Former State Representative Ronnie Peterson (l.) & Stephen Lange Ranzini, President & CEO of University Bank (r.)



Stephen Lange Ranzini, , President & CEO of University Bank President Joe Biden


Stephen Lange Ranzini, , President & CEO of University Bank (l.) & President Joe Biden (r.)




Armando R. Cavazos



Armando R. Cavazos, Director & Chair of University Bank Compensation Committee




Stephen Lange Ranzini, University Bank President and CEO

Phone: 734-741-5858, Ext. 9226