A new Black-owned bank has opened in Columbus, Ohio, making history as the only one in the state. Adelphi Bank aims to help Black families build generational wealth by removing common barriers.
According to its website, Adelphi’s goal “is to improve the lives of our customers by removing the barriers to financial equity.” It also says it’s on a “mission to boost financial equity and build meaningful wealth for seamless and straightforward banking without inherent bias” for Black families.
The bank’s name pays homage to Adelphi Loan and Savings Company, Ohio’s former only Black-owned bank in the 1920s that folded during the Great Depression.
Jordan Miller is one of Adelphi’s co-founders who also serves as chairman and CEO. The other co-founders are Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, and doctor and investor Kamran Haydar. Miller once served as president of Fifth-Third Central Ohio.
He told The Black Wall Street Times the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved Adelphi to open for business on Jan. 18. Ninety-five percent of the Adelphi’s staff and board are Black. They said they want to uplift Black and other communities of color by giving them something that is not always easy to attain: access.
“At traditional institutions, who they are lending money to for mortgages and the underwriting process, generally speaking about 1% are for African-Americans. What that means is that the wealth gap is not growing at the pace that we need it to grow at to keep up with the growth of society,” Boyce said.
Black Americans Have the Highest Mortality Rates But Lowest Levels of Life Insurance
Are you prioritizing your cable entertainment bill over protecting and investing in your family?
Smart Policies are as low as $30 a month, No Medical Exam Required
Click Here to Get Smart on Protecting Your Family and Loves Ones, No Matter What Happens
Adelphi seeks to change that. He told the Times the bank’s unofficial motto is “Not what, but how?”
Located in the historically Black King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood, Adelphi recently exceeded its fundraising goal by raising $25 million dollars to launch the institution, Columbus Business First reported. The original goal was $20 million.
Black banks are scarce in the U.S. Adelphi is one of just 21 Black-owned banks nationwide, but it wasn’t always that way.
According to CNBC, between 1888 and 1934, there were 134 Black-owned banks, but that number has significantly dwindled to just 1 percent.
Many Black-owned banks have similar missions to Adelphi. OneUnited Bank — headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with branches in Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California — is one of them. It recently launched its new Empowerment Network, with more surcharge-free ATMs than any other bank in the country.
“We listened to our customers who want better access and more control over their money,” Teri Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited, said in a statement. “We’re proud to make history by offering the Empowerment Network, the nation’s largest surcharge-free ATM network, while also providing better card controls through OneUnited Card Command.”
“Quite frankly, we’re elevating the BankBlack Movement by offering best-in-class services and state-of-the-art technology to better meet customer needs,” Williams added.
Most Black-owned banks take on what traditional banks see as riskier borrowers to help level the playing field for Black Americans to access funding that will help them become home and business owners.
“We looked at all the options from fintechs, to neo-banks, to credit unions and even community development financial institutions,” Boyce said. “We zeroed in on the banking platform because we felt [we should] build that as the base and we could branch out and do all of those other things as we grow.”