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5 African-American Owned Banks You Should Know

Photo Credit: iloveblackpeople.net

In the last year, there has been a significant movement in America among the black community to invest in themselves. African-American owned banks have been around for years, but they have not necessarily been so well-known outside of their local communities.

Here are five African -American owned banks in America that you should know.

#1 One United Bank

One United is the second largest black-owned bank and the first black internet bank in the United States.  Its offices are located in Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles. Founded in the year 1968, it offers a variety of services, such as deposits, lending, and sponsoring community development programs across the country.

In the last two years, One United Bank has financed over $100 million in loans. Furthermore, the United States Department of Treasury has deemed One United as the highest bank enterprise in community development in America a whopping ten times!

This bank is located in Massachusetts, California, and Florida.

#2 Citizens Trust Bank

Citizens Trust is an African-American owned and operated bank that was founded almost 100 years ago. In February 2016, the bank received an initiative boost of $1 million from Producer Jermaine Dupri, rapper Killer Mike, and R&B singer Usher. The bank offers a variety of services that include deposits and lending loans. The minimum amount that you can deposit in Citizens Trust Bank is $50, but there is no minimum balance required.

This institution is located in Stone Mountain, North Birmingham, Atlanta, Columbus, and Lithonia.

#3 Seaway Bank

Seaway Bank is a full-service black-owned commercial bank that is located in Illinois.  The bank was established in 1965 as Seaway National Bank of Chicago. Seaway Bank was created in order to confront discriminatory lending practices that were experienced by blacks on the southside of Chicago.

The bank’s founders were a group of local businessmen who tirelessly sold shares door to door in order to raise $1 million in capital, as that was the amount needed to secure the federal charter. At the end of its first year in operation, the bank had risen over $5 million.

It is located in Chicago. The minimum amount to deposit is $25 with no minimum balance required and no monthly fees.

#4 Liberty Bank

Liberty Bank was founded in 1972 and charted in New Orleans, Louisiana. It focused on service delivery, integrity, and sincere interest in business and community development. In four decades, it has expanded to 18 offices in six states, located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Kansas City, Chicago, Tuskegee, Montgomery, and Detroit. The bank enlarged its Kansas City market through the acquisition of Douglass Bank in 2008.

The bank offers various services such as saving, lending and financing community programs. There is no minimum amount to open an account and no minimum balance required, and a monthly fee is $2 for electronic statements.

#5 Industrial Bank

Industrial Bank was founded on August 20, 1934. In fact, it is the oldest Black American-owned commercial bank in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. region.

Since 1934, Industrial Bank has delivered essential financial and banking services, which have significantly contributed to the growth and development of the Washington, D.C. community. The bank started with only six employees and $192,000 in assets; now the bank has over 115 employees and over $389 million in assets.  The minimum deposit is $25 with no minimum balance required and no monthly fees.


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Comment by orochimaru on February 12, 2022 at 5:11am

Interesting, how come I never known that? I am a permanent client of Chime bank, I love their conditions and very loyal customer support service https://chime.pissedconsumer.com/customer-service.html . I never had a desire to change a bank and to try another one, but seems like now I am ready. 

Comment by El-Bull on November 13, 2016 at 9:45pm

AfricanGoddess You're welcome---unfortunately I still have posts pending that have not been approved with other pertinent info for our people  :-(

Comment by AfricanGoddess on November 13, 2016 at 9:35pm

@El Bull
Thanks for the heads up on MelanatedPeople... I'll definitely check it out!

It's really good to be around positive minded black people who are into sharing info and building with each other. *Most black people are too phucking selfish,always trying to block the next black person!*

Comment by gina gene on November 11, 2016 at 1:02pm
CArver is a black owned and the worst aswell!!!!!
Comment by Stephanie R. Green on November 11, 2016 at 1:50am

Per a Crain's article (see below) written in March, 2015, there are 24 remaining, and 1 very famous one in NYC!

Harlem's renaissance is impossible to miss. Starbucks and Banana Republic line 125th Street. Whole Foods is coming. Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant draws gourmands from everywhere, and busloads of tourists come to hear gospel choirs in the churches. But one important uptown institution has missed the revival: Carver Federal Savings, the nation's largest African-American-founded bank and the bedrock of the neighborhood's business scene for 67 years.

Like other black banks, Carver was hit especially hard by the financial crisis, which disproportionately hurt its African-American customers. It weathered the storm thanks to extraordinary intervention by the federal government and a group of big Wall Street institutions. Now it is crawling out of its bunker, and new Chief Executive Michael Pugh has a simple message to the community: Come back.

"I invite you to check us out if you haven't done so for a while," he told members of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce last week.

Whether there is a place for Carver, the last black bank in New York, is a question facing black banks nationwide. Since 1987, three-quarters of the nation's 91 African-American banks have disappeared. The most recent casualty came last month, when regulators closed Atlanta's Capitol City Bank & Trust after years of losses. In January, Chicago's Highland Community Bank met the same fate.

The collapse of so many African-American banks has alarmed black leaders, including those inside the Obama administration, who are only now taking measures to save the 24 that remain in the United States. Most of the banks are small and struggle to make money, but their defenders argue they must be preserved because they remain career launching pads for minority and women bankers, in addition to having long histories of providing credit to consumers and entrepreneurs who couldn't get it anywhere else.

Though Harlem's renaissance has expanded the presence of Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, black banks say that minorities need dedicated institutions to serve their financial needs because the era of discrimination is far from over. They point to the fact that regulators and the U.S. Justice Department found that minority borrowers were pushed into more costly subprime loans or charged higher fees than comparable white borrowers during the housing bubble, and that once-conservative black banks were pressured by federal regulators to get into risky loan-making.

"Absolutely these banks are still relevant, and it's important for black businesses to find ways to work with them," said Keith Clinkscales, CEO of Revolt Media, a cable network owned by Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Mr. Clinkscales added that his company is in talks with Carver to open an account. "I'm busy, you're busy, but we have to do it," he said.

Former city comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson said he closed his Carver account "long ago," though his 90-year-old father still has one. Mr. Thompson now banks with Chase but still is fond of the place he used to go.

"When I need cash and am in the neighborhood, I go to the Carver branch on 117th Street and use the ATM," he said.

Last ones standing

The 24 African-American banks in the U.S., ranked by asset size

Bank Location Asset size (in millions) Year founded
Carver Federal Savings New York $640 1948
OneUnited Bank Boston $614 1982
Liberty Bank & Trust New Orleans $579 1972
Seaway Bank & Trust Chicago $420 1965
Citizens Trust Bank Atlanta $395 1921
Industrial Bank Washington, D.C. $368 1934
Broadway Federal Bank Los Angeles $350 1947
Mechanics & Farmers Bank Durham, N.C. $298 1908
City National Bank of New Jersey Newark $265 1973
Harbor Bank of Maryland Baltimore $235 1982
First Independence Bank Detroit $216 1970
Tri-State Bank of Memphis Memphis, Tenn. $125 1946
Illinois-Service Federal Savings Chicago $115 1934
United Bank of Philadelphia Philadelphia $109 1992
Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Nashville, Tenn. $108 1904
Unity National Bank of Houston Houston $76 1985
North Milwaukee State Bank Milwaukee $75 1971
Commonwealth National Bank Mobile, Ala. $59 1976
South Carolina Community Bank Columbia, S.C. $59 1999
First Tuskegee Bank Tuskegee, Ala. $52 1991
Carver State Bank Savannah, Ga. $42 1927
Alamerica Bank Birmingham, Ala. $41 2000
First State Bank Danville, Va. $39 1919
Columbia Savings & Loan Milwaukee $24 1924

Source: FDIC

Comment by El-Bull on November 10, 2016 at 10:30pm

I'M PISSED OFF!!! I POSTED THIS BACK IN THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER AND IT'S JUST NOW GETTING APPROVED BY THE ADMIN=======THIS SITE HAS GONE TO POTS WHICH IS WHY I JOINED Melanated People @ https://melanatedpeople.net/members/home WHERE YOU CONTROL YOUR POSTS WITHOUT BEING CENSORED BY AN OVER ZEALOUS ADMIN-----FREE TO JOIN NO FEES REQUIRED----TRY IT YOU MIGHT LIKE IT AND LOOK FOR ME THERE AS EL BULL IF YOU WANT TO FRIEND ME

Comment by gee pascal on November 10, 2016 at 8:12pm
There is Carver in Brooklyn.
Comment by E Peters on November 10, 2016 at 7:59pm
Wow good to know
Comment by DKNY Promotions on November 10, 2016 at 7:13pm
None in the New York area?

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