The 10 Black-Owned Banks In the US

black-owned banks

Banks have played an important role when it comes to the facilitation of the American dream.

Although no black-owned banks existed in the US before 1888, they have caught on with the additional services they offer.

The black-owned banks give their customers the chance to access resources they need financially speaking as well as the opportunity to invest in not only their community’s well-fare but also in their financial health.

Another key factor is that black-owned banks play a key role in the fight against racism in modern times. We will look at the black-owned banks as well as the owners in the US.

The importance of black-owned banks.

To be able to comprehend the importance of black-owned banks fully, one should be able to understand the overall roles that banks play in one’s financial life. These include;

  • Checking accounts. This is a provision that ensures that the customers’ funds have safe storage and it is usually in exchange for some fee that is agreed upon. With that, banks are also giving loans to both institutions as well as individuals to suit whatever needs they may have.
  • Mortgages. This is yet another important role banks play. Mortgages are issued when one is dealing with real estate or maybe looking into making purchases that concern real estate.

Other than these functions, there are other functions that black-owned banks do, such as launching programs that are aimed to help the individuals who can hardly access those services if left without help. Most banks do not agree to give out loans to individuals whose income is below a certain bracket. What makes this worse is that the color of their skin also plays a role. There is still hate crime highly associated with black people.

The black-owned banks, in this case, act as their saving grace. They are, in most cases, willing to accept loan applications from individuals who have been turned away by other banks due to several factors. Looking past risks and all factors put into it, black-owned banks can find a way to help the less advantaged black people.

Black-owned banks also usually focus on small businesses as well as start-ups, black people who want to be homebuyers, and non-profits. Since 2018, all the black-owned banks have become community banks. This means that they are institutions that dedicate their services to supporting the economies of their respective communities.

Even in the most difficult times, the black-owned banks have been seen to stand strong by their customers. An example of this is when there was a financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 and a drop in mortgage lending by 69%, yet in terms of the black-owned banks, their borrowers increased by 57%.

These black bank owners, as well as their banks, play a vital role in society in ways such as offering alternatives for residents who have been affected by discrimination from other banking institutions. They also provide opportunities for the low as well as the mid-income earners to be able to access loans to better their lives. The impact they have on society at large is very much admired and should be appreciated.

OneUnited Bank

Who is the OneUnited Bank?

OneUnited Bank is the largest black-owned bank in the United States of America. It is a Massachusetts-chartered trust company with its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. The bank is not only registered by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

Still, it is also certified as a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) by the United States Department of Treasury. The bank has its mission as creating an institution that can garner people’s spending power such that it can be channeled back into the community. It also boasts of focusing on both money as well as technology in playing their part in terms of the reduction of the racial wealth gap.

The history of OneUnited Bank

Previously known as unity Bank & Trust Company, this bank was founded in 1968 in the neighborhood of Boston, which is currently known as Nubian Square, to lend to homeowners and local businesses exclusively, thereby revitalizing the area. The bank failed after nine years of operations, which gave birth to the Bank of Boston Commerce.

In the 1990s, the FDIC placed the bank under a cease-and-desist order. The leaders of the bank, including the current chairman, were able to get a significant capital infusion. Over several years, the bank acquired three other banks that were African-American-owned and were headed for failure.

Boston Bank of Commerce became the first interstate black-owned bank in America after it acquired the People’s National Bank of Commerce. The bank merged with Founders National Bank of Los Angeles in 2001 and rebranded to OneUnited Bank.

Who is on the board of OneUnited Bank?

Kevin Cohee is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer as well as the owner of OneUnited bank. He spearheaded the black movement of the bank after the issue of police brutality in 2016. The Vice-Chairman is John L. Sims. Teri Williams is the President and the Chief Operating Officer. Other board members are Deloris Pettis, Richard D. Carr, Leander J. Foley, George A. Russell Jr., and Leon Wilson.

Greenwood Bank

Who are the Greenwood Bank?

Greenwood is a black-owned financial institution that offers modern banking for the culture in Atlanta, Georgia. The bank was first announced in October 2020 and already had five hundred thousand prospective members by January the following year. It was set to open in early 2021, but the bank’s services got delayed due to the unexpectedly high demand.

It was then scheduled to commence its operations in July that year, with public access expected to begin in 2022. The bank offers its banking services and debit card using a partnership with Coastal Community Bank.

The history of Greenwood Bank

Greenwood Bank was founded by Andrew Young, who is the former mayor of Atlanta; Ryan Glover, who is a media executive; and Michael Render, also known as Killer Mike, a rapper-activist. The bank was started with three million dollars from private investors to address the shortage of banking services for people of color and the general representation of these people in the traditional banks.

The name is inspired by the community of Greenwood, which Gurley founded in the early 1900s to build a place where black people could prosper. The community thrived up until 1921, when there was the Tusla massacre that robbed the residents of all their hard work as well as their lives.

Who is on the board?

Ryan Glover is the founder and chairman of the Greenwood Bank. He has over twenty years of experience in the delivery of products that have their main focus on the African-American community. Michael Render, ‘Killer Mike’, is the bank’s co-founder and is a businessman, activist, songwriter, actor, and rapper. Amb. Andrew Young is the other co-founder and board member who is the mayor of Atlanta, a US congressman, an activist as well as an ambassador.

The Alamerica bank

The bank was set up by the area leaders of Birmingham, who had identified that there was a need by both customers and businesses for more personalized banking services.

The bank came to life officially in 2000, on the 28th of January. Since then, it was finally able to achieve its profitability operationally after six months. Since then, it has grown to become one of the strongest institutions Birmingham has.

The Alamerica bank has its owners as the board of directors, who include Mike Weaver as the chairman, Lawrence Tate as the CEO and president, Matthew Morris, and Jacqueline Anderson Smith.

City First Bank

The black-owned bank has its foundation in Los Angeles and was founded as a bank that was to be community-focused in 1946.

Since then, it has been able to achieve a single office that deals in loan production and three branches that are more traditional banks. It is one of the remaining black-oriented banks, with its headquarters in Dallas.

The bank has its CEO and president Wayne- Kent A, and the chairman of the directors’ board Vigil Roberts.

The Brookland Federal Credit Union

The Brookland Federal Credit Union is found in the West of Columbia in the United States. It is part of the intermediation industry of depository credit. The institution was founded in 1999 and is currently led by Ronald Cooley.

Carver federal savings bank –

Carver was founded in 1948 through the leadership of M. Moran Weston. Joseph E. Davis was the co-founder. It has been stated as the largest financial institution that is black-owned in the US. It has a holding company, that is Carver Bancorp, inc. The current CEO of the Carver Federal Savings bank is Michael T. Pugh, who has been the president since 2015, 1st of January.

In the starting stages, it had purposes such as helping the homeowners who were people of color to secure mortgages, providing training of black people to allow them to work in other banks, and even hiring leaders to be, for example, T. Greene.

Carver State Bank

Carver state bank is a financial institution that is black-operated and has been up since 1927. The bank operates in Georgia. The foundation of the bank was in 1927 on the 23rd of February. The founder was Louis B. It was originally known as Georgia Savings and Realty Corp. The name was permanently changed in 1962 when it started issuing checking accounts to Carver State Bank. The bank has its name from George Washington Carver.

The current president of the bank is Robert E James, with its Vice President being Deborah C Mcintosh, among other officials who facilitate its smooth operation.

Citizens Bank –

Citizens bank started as a savings bank (one-cent) in Tennessee.

The institution changed its name in 1920 to Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Co. It has branches in both Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Its main office is in Tennessee. 

The services that the bank offers include loans for both personal and business needs and banking options also for both personal and business needs, such as savings as well as checkings and also credit cards.

Citizens trust bank

Citizens Trust Bank was founded in 1921.

This was by five colored businessmen. Since then, the bank has managed to get the title of being certified federally as well as to be one of the biggest financial institutions that are African American-owned in the whole nation. The bank boasts of assets that accumulate to over 388 million dollars.

Citizens Bank has its mission which is to empower not only their customers but their customers’ families as well for them to be able to succeed. Owing to this, the bank was able to launch an educational program that was free in 2015. The sole purpose of the program was to educate the young adults on the issues of managing money and budgeting, as well as the tools that one needs for them to be able to not only acquire as well as build but also be able to sustain their generated wealth. 

Cynthia Day is the current president and the CEO of the Citizens Trust Bank.

Columbia Savings and loans

Columbia Savings and Loans is a financial institution that is black-owned and has one location, which is in Wisconsin (Milwaukee).

Wilbur Halyard and Ardie founded the bank. The main reason for the start-up was the fact that they wanted to establish a way that Milwaukee’s community, which was African American, could be able to access mortgage loans.

 The institution gives church loans, home loans as well as any personal loans one may need. Because Columbia Savings and Loan does not have the option of accessing it from an app on the phone, if one is interested in getting services from them, they are required to work with the branch directly.

George Gary is the current president of Columbia savings and loans.

Commonwealth National Bank

The commonwealth national bank was founded in 1976.

It is one of the remaining black-owned businesses in the country. A financial institution is a commercial institution that is nationally fully serviced and chartered.  It has its main branch in Mobile. It is majorly based in Alabama.

More banks are below …

  • GN Bank (HQ: Illinois) Website
  • Liberty Bank and Trust Company (HQ: Louisiana) Website
  • First Independence Bank (HQ: Michigan) Website
  • Mechanics & Farmers Bank (HQ: North Carolina) Website
  • First Security Bank and Trust Company (HQ: Oklahoma) Website
  • United Bank of Philadelphia (HQ: Pennsylvania) Website
  • OPTUS Bank (HQ: South Carolina) Website
  • Unity National Bank of Houston (HQ: Texas) Website
  • Industrial Bank (HQ: Washington DC) Website