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An Endangered Institution: Black Owned Banks

The Worry

The Story

In 2001 there were 48 Black owned banks in the United States – banks with 51% or more Black ownership. In 2005 there were 44; in 2010 there were 33; and in 2014 there were 25. As of 2015 there are 19 left. We are currently watching Black owned banking institutions perish before our eyes. The question, of course, is why are theses institutions failing? Most would think that it’s due to low patronage – and that is partly correct – but the true depth of what it happening to Black banks is the same as what’s happening with so many Black institutions: extinction.


The Problem

Black institutions have always lacked access to resources and usually have smaller customer bases. The recession and new FDIC regulations have also taken a toll on Black banks; however, Black banks have also lacked the dynamic structure that would allow them to evolve with the times. Black banks in particular have been noted to not have modernized technology which give them the ability to offer the type of online and mobile banking services that big banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America offer their customers. This is significant in that these are the types of things that appeal to customers and help them to decide which banks to patron.SundaySitdown-CST-09xx14-12

All too often in the Black community we hear the cries for supporting Black businesses. I would agree that it is true we should make the effort of patronizing Black businesses; however, on the other side those businesses need to do as much as their competitors to earn the business. The relationship between the Black community and Black businesses is often strained because one feels the other owes them something. Black businesses feel that they should get the business just because a customer is Black and Black customers feel that Black businesses should give some sort of discount or freebie because the business is Black owned. In truth both should be driven together out of the need t1o support the community of which they are both a part but the business should always be just business. That said, a Black business should do as much to gain and retain their customers whether they are Black or not and Black customers should spend the same way that they would spend at any other business without any expectation besides getting the product or service for which they are paying.

The Point

Black banks will have to redefine their purpose if they are to survive. They will have to appeal to their target market while being competitive in the market. A small bank can’t contend with a global or national bank but they can make themselves marketable by filling the needs of the market that are not already being met. One thing is for certain and that is what they have been doing isn’t working anymore and some thing has to change.


I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,


An Angry Black Man


Remaining Black Owned Banks:

Alamerica Bank

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: January 28, 2000

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $35 404 000


Broadway Federal Bank FSB

Location: Los Angeles, California

Founded: February 26, 1947

FDIC Region: San Francisco

Assets: $385 055 000


Capital City Bank & Trust Company

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: October 3, 1994

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $294 572 000


Carver State Bank

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Founded: January 1, 1927

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $41 573 000


Citizens Trust Bank

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $392 286 000


City NB of New Jersey

Location: Newark, New Jersey

Founded: June 11, 1973

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $340 301 000


Commonwealth National Bank

Location: Mobile, Alabama

Founded: February 19, 1976

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $63 244 000


Covenant Bank

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: June 20, 1977

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $59 842 000


First Independence Bank

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Founded: May 14, 1970

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $215 924 000


First State Bank

Location: Danville, Virginia

Founded: September 08, 1919

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $38 882 000


First Tuskegee Bank

Location:Tuskegee, Alabama

Founded: October 11, 1991

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $63 127 000


Highland Community Bank

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: November 09, 1970

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $84 948 000


Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 01, 1934

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $140 148 000


Industrial Bank

Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $342 524 000


Liberty Bank & Trust Company

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $545 019 000


Mechanics & Farmers Bank

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $304 809 000


North Milwaukee State Bank

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Founded: February 12, 1971

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $91 490 000


OneUnited Bank

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $590 624 000


Seaway Bank & Trust Company

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 02, 1965

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $573 168 000


United Bank of Philadelphia

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Founded: March 23, 1992

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $67 930 000


Unity NB of Houston

Location: Houston, Texas

Founded: August 01, 1985

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $68 125 000

Source: FDIC

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