Just like fighting for the value of Black lives isn’t new, neither are Black-owned banks. However, with unprecedented spotlight and support of the Black Lives Matter movement, banking Black is gaining more and more traction. Just last month it was announced that two Black-owned banks were merging to increase their bandwidth. There are many companies joining the #BankBlack movement.
Defined as having 51 percent-plus Black ownership and serving marginalized communities, Black-owned banks have decreased significantly in number. However, they are known to offer the Black community opportunities other major banks do not.
“I think banking with Black-owned banks is good because many of them give people a second chance who can’t get bank accounts with other banks,” personal finance consultant Dr. JeFreda R. Brown told The Simple Dollar. “Also, Black-owned banks offer the same services as other banks and credit unions.”
Black-owned banks should be given a chance to grow and be a strong financial staple in the communities they serve, Brown said. They’re also a great option because they promote economic revitalization. “Banking with Black-owned banks helps increase community development and economic development. This is why they need support from everyone,” Brown said.
Collectively, Black-owned banks have nearly $5 billion in assets. Here are the top 10 Black-owned banks ranked by total assets based on available data as of June 2020.
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Based in New Orleans, Liberty Bank and Trust has 17 branches in cities across Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. Established in 1972, it is a registered member of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Liberty’s assets total $737,417 million according to its FDIC financial snapshot.
Led by President and CEO Alden J. McDonald Jr., the bank describes itself as “passionate about helping more people achieve more freedom.”
Based in Boston, Mass., OneUnited also has six branches in Miami and Los Angeles with an upcoming location in Compton, Calif. Established in 1982, Liberty Bank is a registered member of the FDIC and has been awarded the highest Bank Enterprise Award by the U.S. Department of Treasury 10 times, according to its website.
OneUnited’s assets total $684,872 million according to its FDIC financial snapshot. On its website, the bank said it “understands we have to focus on money to improve the lives of our community” and is leading the official #BankBlack Challenge. It is led by husband-and-wife Chairman and CEO Kevin Cohee and President and CEO Teri Williams Cohee.
Based in New York, NY, Carver has seven branches in its home state. Established in 1948, it is named after the famous Black scientist George Washington Carver. It is also a registered member of the FDIC. Carver’s assets total $670,942 million according to that bank’s FDIC financial snapshot. It provides financial aid, especially to underserved Black communities, according to AfroTech. It is led by President and CEO Michael T. Pugh.
Based in Washington D.C., Industrial Bank has 10 branches in DC, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. It was originally established in 1913 but was reorganized by Jesse Mitchell in 1934, according to AfroTech. A member of the FDIC, Industrial has assets totaling $599,866 million according to its FDIC financial snapshot. One of the bank’s primary goals is to provide loans for low- and moderate-income African-American communities to improve their financial status, AfroTech reported. It is led by President and CEO Doyle Mitchell Jr.
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Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Citizens Trust has seven branches in Georgia and Alabama. Established in 1921, the bank was founded specifically to serve the Black community in Atlanta. In 1947, it became a member of the Federal Reserve Bank and is also a registered member of the FDIC. Citizens Trust’s assets total $506,374 million according to its FDIC financial snapshot. The bank focuses on providing different types of loans such as business and real estate loans. It also offers an affordable housing program for the black community, especially to those who need down payment assistance, according to AfroTech.
Based in Los Angeles, California, Broadway has three branches in its native state. Established in 1967, the bank was created to cater to Black consumers who were being ignored by big banks. The bank’s headquarters were burned in the 1992 riots that took place in the L.A. after the Rodney King verdict, but they rebuilt. It is also a registered member of the FDIC. Broadway’s assets total $488,707 million according to its FDIC financial snapshot. It has a “continued its focus on serving low-to-moderate income communities, with a particular focus on lending for multi-family housing.” It is led by President and CEO Wayne-Kent Bradshaw.
Broadway Federal recently announced its merger with D.C.’s City First Bank, another Black-owned bank. Combined, they will be the largest Black-led bank in the U.S.
Based in Washington, D.C., City First Bank has one location in D.C. Established in 1998, the bank was the outcome of a meeting held five years earlier in 1993 to address the economic toll centuries of discrimination had taken on Black neighborhoods. A registered member of the FDIC, City First’s assets total $367,177 million according to its FDIC financials snapshot. It offers checking, savings and money market accounts and is focused on community development. It is led by President and CEO Brian E. Argett. As mentioned above, it is merging with Broadway Federal Bank.
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, The Harbor Bank has six branches across its native state. Established in 1982, it is the first community bank in the country to offer an investment subsidiary called Harbor Financial Services. A registered member of the FDIC, Harbor’s assets total $327,919 million according to its FDIC financials snapshot. The bank offers checking, savings, time deposits, credit cards, debit card, commercial real estate, personal, home improvement, automobile, and other installment and term loans. It is led by Chairman and CEO Joseph Haskins Jr.
Based in Durham, North Carolina, Mechanics & Farmers has eight locations across its native state. Established in 1907, Mechanics & Farmers was founded by nine Black businessmen to serve their community. It is also a registered member of the FFDIC. Mechanics & Farmers’ assets total $291,299 million according to its FDIC financials snapshot. It’s the second oldest Black-owned bank in the country and is “committed to meeting the needs of a wide range of individuals and businesses within our markets, while providing unparalleled customer service with an above-average return for our shareholders.” It is led by CEO James H. Sills.
Now doing business as First independence Bank, this bank is based in Detroit, Michigan with three locations across the state. Established in 1970, it is the only Black-owned bank based in Michigan. It is also a registered member of the FDIC. First Independence’s assets total $282,000 million according to its FDIC financials snapshot. The bank’s vision is “to be a well-managed financial institution respected by customers, regulators and financial peers.” It plans to do so by implementing this mission everyday: “To be a beacon for capital accumulation for individuals and business entities by delivering financial services with an affinity for under-served and minority communities.” It is led by CEO Kenneth Kelly.