Sullivan Progress Plaza was the nation's first shopping center operated by African Americans when it was built in 1968 under the direction of the late Rev. Leon Sullivan. Additionally, United Bank of Philadelphia, the city's only African-American owned bank, has operated a branch in the center since 1999 and is one of the plaza's oldest tenants. "Progress Plaza has really been our mainstay," said Evelyn Smalls, president and CEO of United Bank. "It meant a lot to bank being there and at the same time having accessibility to clients that we were attempting to bring into the financial system in a consistent way."
Carver Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1948 with a mission to serve African Americans who were shut out of mainstream financial services. Over the past seven decades as a historically minority-managed community bank, Carver has experienced firsthand the benefits of diversity throughout all levels of its organization. Today, the bank boasts eight branches across New York City, including four in Brooklyn, three in Manhattan and one in Queens, as well as a robust mobile banking platform.
The Treasury Department will soon outline rules stemming from the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul last year that are aimed at giving investors confidence to pour billions of dollars into distressed areas. Investment banks, venture capitalists, and real estate developers have been eagerly awaiting guidance for so-called opportunity zones. These zones are identified to attract capital to areas where investment has lagged by allowing investors to avoid some taxes when they fund projects there. But critics have warned that this could just hasten gentrification and serve as a tax shelter for wealthy investors.
The financial crisis and recession of 2008 made the availability of capital a significant concern for community banks and led many to seek out additional sources to rebuild their equity. The need for capital may have been even greater for some minority-owned financial institutions, as the markets they serve were hit especially hard by the financial crisis in 2008. This report explores the many recapitalization efforts at minority-owned financial institutions. This allows readers to better understand how some minority banks succeeded in raising new capital, and to identify the trends and policies that might improve capital access in the future.
Nearly every major American bank has a lofty set of values and principles. However, many Americans still distrust the banking industry. After five years of slow improvement in public perception since the financial crisis, American Banker reported in January that banks were backsliding again, with only 52% of consumers trusting their banks to do the right thing, down from 66% last year. Why then is there such a big disconnect between how Americans see their banks and how banks see themselves?
On October 15th, Royal Business Bank announced its completed acquisition of First American International Bank. The transaction brings RBB's total assets to approximately $2.7 billion. "We believe this expanded suite of product offerings will provide a superior banking experience for our customers," says Yee Phong (Alan) Thian, CEO and Chairman of the Board of RBB.
About 56 million millennials were in the workforce, or were looking to join it, as of 2017. That equals more than a third of the nation's job pool. So recruiting, training, and retaining younger talent is top of mind for many community bankers. But how are banks to best compete for the attention of this new workforce? Several bank executives chimed in on this topic and many others at a recent event held by the American Bankers Association. Read their insights here.
This past week, CDBA was proud to host its first ever congressional staffer bus tour. On the morning of October 12th, CDBA's Public Policy Director Samantha Booth and CEO Jeannine Jacokes boarded a full bus to take a tour of CDFI impact sites in Washington, D.C. The tour, co-led by City First Bank and Industrial Bank, stopped by many of the banks' success stories, including the Elaine Ellis Health Center, Trinity Plaza Day Care, and THEARC.
Farmers & Merchants Bancorp, a bank holding company in Lodi, California, has completed its acquisition of the Bank of Rio Vista as of October 10th, 2018. "We are pleased to announce that Bank of Rio Vista is now part of F&M Bank. We believe this transaction will benefit clients of both banks, as well as the local delta and river communities" said Farmers & Merchants Bancorp's Chairman, President, and CEO Kent Steinwert. Craig James, who currently sits on the Bank of Rio Vista Board of Directors, will now join the Board of Farmers & Merchants Bank.
The StoryBank Project is a CDBA initiative that captures our member banks' success stories through the eyes of their customers. These episodes show how underserved communities benefit directly from our mission-based banking and financial services. This week's video features Citizens Savings Bank and Trust, the oldest African American-owned bank in the country. Its featured client, Dr. Roosevelt Joyner, received a loan from the bank to start a cosmetology and barbering school for Memphis residents. Watch the video here.