Mechanics and Farmers Bank
Mechanics and Farmers Bank was chartered in 1907 by a group of nine prominent black North Carolina businessmen who hoped to meet the needs of the state's underserved black community. Today, M&F Bank's employees carry on that tradition, providing quality service to all customers and promoting personal and community development with an attitude of appreciation and respect.
Durham, N.C. was once known nationally for its "Black Wall Street," a cluster of flourishing black-owned financial institutions and businesses. In the 1960s that energy dissipated in the wake of urban development, but still the city held on to a large number of black owned businesses. Now, propelled by a national fellowship program, the city of Durham is building a plan and a set of tools to help preserve black-owned businesses in the face of an aging baby boomer generation, a new knowledge economy, and 21st-century business model shifts that traditional entrepreneurs may ignore.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, African Americans built a successful business community in Durham, North Carolina. Durham's Black Wall Street flourished, becoming home to some of the most influential minority-owned businesses in the country, including Mechanics and Farmers Bank, the second-oldest minority-owned bank in the United States. Today, black-owned businesses are continuing to thrive. According to the US Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners, black-owned firms make up more than a quarter of all companies in Durham, nearly twice the percentage of black-owned firms in North Carolina as a whole.
The 109-year-old M & F Bank has long served as a catalyst for community economic development in Durham, North Carolina. Building off the bank's long-standing history, President & CEO James Sills discusses future opportunities for growth and diversification, positioning the bank to remain as an industry leader throughout the 21st century.