black owned banks in nc

That number is even higher for Black-owned banks. million-asset M&F Bank in Durham, N.C., the second oldest African American-owned bank. By 1924, North Carolina was home to ten African-American-owned banks. The Albemarle Bank's organization began in 1919 with the coming. Industrial Bank – Washington, D.C.,. Mechanics and Farmers Bank – Charlotte NC, Durham NC, Raleigh. NC, Winston-Salem NC.

: Black owned banks in nc

Black owned banks in nc
Black owned banks in nc
Black owned banks in nc

The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research

Federal Records and African American History (Summer 1997, Vol. 29, No. 2)

By Reginald Washington

Among the most underused bodies of federal records useful for African American genealogical research are the records of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. Chartered by Congress in early 1865 for the benefit of ex-slaves, the surviving records relating to the bank and its collapse are a rich source of documentation about the African American family. In an effort to protect the interests of depositors and their heirs in the event of a depositor's death, the branches of what is generally referred to as the Freedman's Bank collected a substantial amount of detailed information about each depositor and his or her family. The data found in the files provide researchers with a rare opportunity to document the black family for the period immediately following the Civil War.


In a meeting in New York on January 27, 1865, John W. Alvord, a Congregational minister and abolitionist, met with more than twenty philanthropists and leading members of the business community to explore the idea of establishing a savings bank for the benefit of African American soldiers. Alvord, who had worked with these soldiers in a variety of humanitarian ventures, informed the group that many black soldiers who were receiving back pay and bounty payments for enlisting in the service had no safe place to deposit their money. Others, who lacked experience in the business of managing their own affairs, were either squandering their pay or being victimized by swindlers. Alvord proposed a plan to establish a "benevolent" banking institution that would provide African American soldiers with a secure place to save their money and at the same time encourage "thrift and industry" in the African American community.(1)

The Alvord plan was not the first attempt to assist the African American soldier to save. A few states in the North had instituted an "allotment" system that allowed both black and white soldiers to have portions of their pay deducted each month and sent to relatives or held by military officials until the soldiers left the service. Several concerned military commanders had also made attempts to assist African American soldiers, as well as civilians, to save for the future. In 1864, for example, Gen. Rufus Saxton, created the Military Savings Bank at Beaufort, South Carolina, eventually known as the South Carolina Freedmen's Savings Bank, to secure the deposits of African American soldiers and civilians. In the same year, Gen. Benjamin Butler established a similar bank in Norfolk, Virginia. In Louisiana, Gen. Nathaniel Banks established the "Free Labor Bank," which maintained deposits from thousands of African American soldiers and former slaves who worked on plantations under the control of the federal government. While these early efforts met with some success, Alvord saw them as temporary measures. In his view, a permanent savings bank was needed if African Americans were to make a successful transition from slavery to freedom and to be truly incorporated into the economic mainstream of American society.(2)

After several reviews of the Alvord proposal, the New York group voted overwhelmingly for the plan and concluded that a charter should be secured from the federal government. On February 13, 1865, with the assistance of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, a bill to incorporate the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was brought before Mobile homes for sale under 5000 in south carolina. After a brief discussion and some confusion about where the bank would be located, "An Act to Incorporate the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company" was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1865.(3)

The act had a clear objective and purpose: a simple savings institution created primarily for former slaves and their descendants. The deposits received by the bank--with the exception of a fund set aside for operating costs and other emergencies--were to be invested in "stocks, bonds, Treasury notes, or other securities of the United States." The charter suggested that "no loans would be made" and that "all the assets of the Bank were owned by the depositors in proportion to the deposits of each." A board of fifty trustees was authorized to managed the bank, and the company's books "were to open for inspection and examination to such persons as Congress would appoint."(4)

While the act made no provisions for branch offices outside the District of Columbia, Alvord always planned that the bank open branches where there were large African American communities, especially in the South. By January 1866, with its headquarters in New York (moved to Washington, D.C., in 1867) and the assets of the two military banks at Norfolk and Beaufort transferred to the company, Alvord and other bank officers moved with missionary-like zeal to open branches in Richmond, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, Vicksburg, and Houston. Between 1865 and 1871 the Freedman's Bank opened some thirty-seven branch offices in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. In less than a decade, an estimated seventy thousand depositors had opened and closed accounts, with bank deposits totaling more the fifty-seven million dollars.(5)

In early 1874, however, overwhelmed by the effects of a 1870 amendment to its charter that changed its loan and investment policy, the Panic of 1873, problems of overexpansion, mismanagement, abuse, and outright fraud, the Freedman's Bank was on the brink of collapse. In March 1874, in an effort to maintain the confidence of its depositors, who had made "runs" on several of the branch offices, bank officials elected Frederick Douglas as president. Unaware of the true state of the bank's affairs, Douglass invested ten thousand dollars of his own money to demonstrate his faith in its future. After a few months of assessing the condition of the company, however, Douglass realized that he was "married to a corpse" and recommended to Congress that the bank be closed.(6)

Congress, by an act of June 20, 1874, authorized the trustees, with approval of the secretary of the treasury, to appointed a three-member board to take charge of the assets of the company and to report on its financial condition to the secretary of the treasury. On June 29, 1874, less than a week after the act passed, the Freedman's Bank closed. In 1881 Congress abolished a board of three commissioners and authorized the secretary of the treasury to appoint the comptroller of the currency to oversee the affairs of the bank. The comptroller was required to submit annual reports to Congress. The final report of the comptroller was made in 1920.

The closure of Freedman's Bank devastated the African American community. An idea that began as a well-meaning experiment in philanthropy had turned into an economic nightmare for tens of thousands African Americans who had entrusted their hard-earned money to the bank. Contrary to what many of its depositors were led to believe, the bank's assets were not protected by the federal government. Perhaps more far-reaching than the immediate lost of their tiny deposits, was the deadening effect the bank's closure had on many of the depositors' hopes and dreams for a brighter future. The bank's demise left bitter feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and distrust of the American banking system that would remain in the African American community for many years. While half of the depositors eventually received about three-fifths of the value of their accounts, others received nothing. Some depositors and their descendants spent more than thirty years petitioning Congress for reimbursement for losses.(7)

Microfilmed Records

The surviving records of twenty-nine branches of the Freedman's Bank are reproduced on National Archives Microfilm Publication M816, Registers of Signatures of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874. This publication reproduces fifty-five volumes of signatures of and personal identification data about thousands of depositors who maintained accounts with the bank. While the amount of information collected by each branch varied, the records generally show the name of the depositor; account number; age; complexion; date of application; place of birth; place raised; occupation; spouse; children; names of parents, brothers, and sisters; remarks; and signature. Some of the earlier volumes contain the names of former owners or mistresses and the plantations where depositors resided. Some entries include copies of death certificates. The signatures of depositors are arranged alphabetically by name of the state, thereunder by name of the city in which the branch was located, thereunder by date when the account was established, and thereunder by account number.

The registers of signatures are not indexed, however. National Archives Microfilm Publication M817, Indexes to Deposit Ledgers in Branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874, reproduces forty-six volumes of indexes to deposit ledgers that provide the names and account numbers of depositors in twenty-six branch offices of the Freedman's Bank. Some volumes show the amount of the deposit. The deposit ledgers themselves are not in the National Archives, and it is not known if they still exist. The indexes are arranged alphabetically by state and thereunder by name of the city where the branch was located. The names are indexed, for the most part, alphabetically by the first letter of the surname. Because the index entries include account numbers, researchers can use them as a rough finding aid to the registers of signatures. See appendix.

Researchers, however, should proceed with caution when using the indexes. More than one index exists for some bank offices, and some indexes are not arranged in strict alphabetical order. It is therefore necessary to examine black owned banks in nc name under the letter of the alphabet beginning the surname. Some indexes do not list all depositors whose surnames appear in the registers of signatures; many account numbers are missing; and in some instances account numbers assigned to depositors in the index are pec pay bill from those in the signature cards. In such cases, it is necessary to search entire rolls of signature cards for bank offices where an ancestor resided. If there were no bank offices in the state and city where an ancestor lived, researchers should search for information about ancestors in the records of branch offices in neighboring states and cities.

The National Archives microfilm collection of the Freedman's Bank records also includes M874, Journal of the Board of Trustees and Minutes of Committees and Inspectors of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865–1874. The minutes include those of the Agency Committee, Finance Committee, and Examining Committee, although some committees' minutes are incomplete. An Educational and Improvement Committee was also established, but no minutes for it have been found. Entries in the journal and the minutes are arranged chronologically by the date of the meetings. While these records have little or no genealogical value, they are, nevertheless, useful for studying the administrative activities and financial decisions of the company.

Unmicrofilmed Records

Despite the dismal financial state of the Freedman's Bank when it closed, the three commissioners appointed to liquidate the assets of the bank and repay its depositors announced the first dividend payments on November 1, 1875. Between 1875 and 1883, the commissioners and the comptroller of the currency declared five dividend payments, amounting to 62 percent of what was actually owed to depositors. To receive dividend payments, depositors had to mail in their bank of america wire transfer routing number california with their return address to Washington. Of the 61,131 depositors eligible to receive the dividends, only 29,996 sent in passbooks. Most of these depositors were holders of large accounts. Many small depositors—some 31,000—never requested their dividends. Other depositors had died or moved and could not be located by commissioners.(8)

Many depositors grew to distrust the federal government or became frustrated with the bureaucratic and costly procedures required to obtain dividend payments. For example, in cases where depositors died, heirs had to submit an affidavit, executed before a notary public, swearing that they were the true heirs or descendants of the depositor.9 In addition to the affidavit, depositors or heirs who made claims but were unable to produce deposit books had to complete a questionnaire responding to the same questions that were asked of depositors at the time they opened their accounts with the bank. The responses were then compared with signature records for accuracy. For many claimants who lacked resources or could not read or write, meeting the government's requirements was extremely difficult.

Nonetheless, among the "Letters Received by the Commissioners of The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and by the Comptroller of the Currency, 1870–1914," researchers will find numerous letters, passbooks, and questionnaires that were sent to the reach key west spa regarding individual accounts and dividend payments. Also interspersed among these files are legal papers, dividend checks, payrolls, vouchers, loan papers, bonds, and insurance policies and deeds. These records have not been microfilmed and have a variety of arrangement schemes. The passbooks, for example, are arranged alphabetically by the city and thereunder alphabetically by the name of the depositor; the questionnaires are arranged alphabetically by the name of the depositor or heir; and the miscellaneous papers are unarranged. While most of the information found in the letters received relates to the liquidation of the bank, the records should be examined for genealogical data concerning depositors and their heirs. In some cases, these unfilmed records may be the only records available that document an ancestor's relations with the Freedman's Bank.

The thirty-four volumes of "Letters Sent by Commissioners of the Freedman's Savings and Jp morgan chase bank customer service Company and by the Comptroller of the Currency as Ex Officio Commissioners, 1874–1913," like the letters received, relate primarily to the liquidation of the Freedmen's Bank. Some documentation in the files, however, concerns responses by commissioners to inquiries from depositors and their descendants about individual accounts. Also included are letters sent by commissioners and the comptroller soliciting the help of African American community leaders and other local officials in locating depositors or their heirs who were due dividend payments. The letters are arranged chronologically with an index in each volume.

The sixteen volumes of "Dividend Payment Records, 1882–1889," are arranged by the city in which the branch office was located and thereunder by the depositor's account number. The records contain the amount a depositor had in his or her account when the bank closed and the number and amount of dividend payments received. Researchers examining these files will need to know the account numbers obtained from the signature records and the indexes to deposit ledgers.

Freedman's Bank Depositors

To encourage deposits and to convince the African American community that their money was in safe hands, Freedman's Bank officials used a number of methods and tactics. Passbooks and other bank literature contained numerous slogans and poems "on temperance, frugality, economy, chastity, the virtues of thrift & savings." Bank advertisements frequently included the names of prominent government officials, such as Abraham Lincoln and Oliver Otis Howard, often to the point of misleading depositors into believing that their deposits were backed by the federal government. Depositors were constantly reminded during public meetings and other bank-sponsored gatherings that the bank was under the charter of Congress, and thus under its complete protection. One writer remarked, "Small wonder that most freedmen never knew that the only power Congress had over the Bank was the right to inspect the books if it wished—which it didn't."(10)

With such assurances that their deposits were safe, African Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds and occupations opened accounts with the Freedman's Bank between 1868 and 1874 at a phenomenal rate. Farmers, laborers, cooks, janitors, nurses, porters, seamstresses, carpenters, washers, draymen, gardeners, shoemakers, blacksmiths, and barbers deposited their savings. For many of these depositors, who were for the first time in their lives receiving wages for their services, owning a bank account was a great source of pride and excitement.

Perhaps one of these enthusiastic depositors was Dilla Warren. Warren opened an account with the New Bern, North Carolina, branch on November 2, 1869. Her signature records not only provide an interesting example of the value of the Freedman's Bank records for genealogical research but also give a tragic example of the effect slavery had on the stability of the African American family. Warren, who turned fifty on February 17, 1869, was born in Chowan County, North Carolina. Despite being crippled, she was self-employed and made her living from sewing, knitting, washing, and ironing. Her husband, Pompey Nixon, was "sold away" seventeen years before the Civil War. Her signature records list eleven of her fifteen children, including those who either died or were sold: Harriet Ann (sold away), Ned Clark (sold), Oscar and Andrew (twins, both dead), Flora(dead), Joseph (dead), Ruess (dead), Lilla (dead), James Clark, and Jane and Maria (twins, both dead). Warren's father, Ned Clark, was sold thirty years before the Civil War. Her mother, Harriet Nixon, along with her two brothers, Ned and Allen, was sold seventeen years before the war. Another brother, Andrew M., was killed by lighting. Warren's signature records also provide the names of her two sisters, Ann Carter (sold thirty-five years before Warren opened her account) and Maria Gregory. Warren indicated that at the time of her death, any money in her account should be given to Edward Paxton, the son of her deceased brother, Andrew.(11)

James Clinket (or Clinkot) deposited $225 in the District of Columbia branch on January 27, 1866. Born in King George County, Virginia, Clinket's former owners were Pinsett and Louisa Taylor. He and his wife, Julia, had three children: Mary S., Patsy, and Isaac. Clinket was among several depositors at the District of Columbia branch who listed their residence as Freedmen's Village.(12) Freedmen's Village was one of a number of contraband camps established in the Washington area in the early 1860s under the jurisdiction of various entities of the War Department. Between 1865 and 1870, the Bureau of Refugee, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, administered the village's affairs. The village served as refuge for thousands of fugitive slaves and other destitute freedmen, who came largely from Maryland and Virginia. Located near Arlington Heights, Virginia, on the estate formerly owned by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, the camp stood as a "national showcase." Dotting the grounds were some fifty dwellings, a hospital, a home for the indigent, a school, a chapel, a variety shop, and several parks.(13)

To promote "self-efficiency and industry" among its residents, all "able-bodied" men and women were required to work, and those who could, paid "house rent."(14) While Clinket's signature records do not mention his age or occupation, a September 1866 Freedmen's Bureau report of persons hired at Freedmen's Village indicates that Clinket--who was thirty-nine years old at the time—worked as a laborer at the camp, earning eight dollars a month. In another undated bureau report (probably 1866) showing the number of village residents who rented land, Clinket is listed as having rented five acres at ten dollars a year.(15)

At the branch office in Augusta, Georgia, Stephen Brown, a forty-nine-year-old farmer, opened an account on January 21, 1871. Brown, who was born in the Barnwell District of South Carolina, lived in Land Hills, Georgia, with his second wife, Henrietta (his first wife is listed as Lidney). His son, Wilson Brown, apparently "went off" after Emancipation. Brown's mother and father were recorded as Hetty Jacob and Nixon Brown (dead). Also listed were his three brothers: Sam Flowers (dead), Dick Brown, and Brister Brown (dead). Brown's five sisters and their husbands were also documented in the files: Dilsey (wife of Dick Dunbar), Becky (wife of Cicero Campbell), Charlotte (wife of Lang Jenkins), Nanny (wife of Frank Wood), and Jane (wife best cash app card design William Cook).(16)

Stephen Brown, like many former slaves who held accounts at the Freedman's Black owned banks in nc, were not only able to amass small sums of money during slavery but managed to accumulate personal property as well. During the Civil War, hundreds of ex-slaves, free blacks, and whites had property seized by Federal troops as they advanced through the South. Brown filed a claim in 1871 before the Commissioners of Claims seeking compensation for a mule, hogs, corn, and bedding taken by "Yankee" soldiers from his owner's plantation. The Commissioners of Claims, commonly referred to as the Southern Claims Commission, was established by Congress on March 3, 1871, to review the claims of citizens who had property taken by Union forces and make recommendations for payment. Persons who submitted claims were required to show clear proof of ownership and provide satisfactory evidence that they had remained loyal to the federal government throughout the war. Brown told how he and his wife had been able to accumulate the property in his claim from the sale of crops produced from land set aside for them by their owner, John Lawson. In an attempt to convince commissioners of his loyalty to the federal cause, Brown alleged that he had received one hundred lashes from his owner for hiding a Yankee soldier in his home. In the end, though, Brown's claim was rejected.(17)

The depositor most sought after by the Freedman's Bank, particularly during the early years of expansion, was the African American soldier. The back pay and bounty money of these soldiers composed the bulk of the first deposits in many of the branch banks. Bank cashiers were instructed to be present whenever soldiers were being paid, and they worked closely with Freedmen's Bureau distribution officers--who by an act of Congress of March 1867 were given the sole responsibility for distributing the back pay and bounties of African American soldiers—to secure whatever portion of a soldier's money they could. In a number of bank branches—Vicksburg, Mobile, Charleston, Jacksonville, Norfolk, and Louisville—cashiers doubled as bureau distributing officers.(18) Cashiers were not the only bank officials who held dual positions at both the bank and the bureau. John Alvord himself served as president of the bank while holding down the position of general superintendent of education of the bureau. This close relationship with the Freedmen's Bureau added to the depositors' belief that the Freedman's Bank was a federal government institution.

The signature records of African American soldiers are perhaps one of the best examples of how documentation found in one body of federal records can lead a researcher to additional information in the records of another. One such record is the signature file for Jacob Reiley. Reiley, a twenty-two-year-old who had served with Company B of the Thirty-third United States Colored Troops (USCT), opened an account at the Savannah, Georgia, branch on April 6, 1866. Although living in Screven County at the time he opened his account, Reiley was born in Augusta, Georgia, where he was owned by Josiah Sibley. His signature records indicate that while in the military he had been a cook for General Sherman. Reiley's file gives the names of his stepfather, George Scott, and his mother, Tina. Also listed are his brother, Sandy, and three sisters, Alice, Amanda, and Cynthia. The file indicates that his natural father (no name given) resided in the Barnwell District in South Carolina.(19)

The information in Reiley's signature records, identifying the company and regiment in which he served, can be used by his descendants to search for additional information about him among Civil War military records maintained at the National Archives. The National Archives holds military and pension records for some of the more than 185,000 African Americans who served with the USCT. Reiley enlisted on January 11, 1865, and received a one-hundred-dollar bounty payment when he was discharged on January 31, 1866, approximately three months before he opened his account with the Freedman's Bank. He applied for a pension on November 22, 1893, and was granted ten dollars a month. While Reiley's signature records only revealed that his natural father resided in the Barnwell District of South Carolina, his pension file indicated that his father was Aaron Reiley and that he was formerly owned by a Bill Eve; Reiley's mother was owned by Josiah Sibley. According to his pension records, Reiley died on December 28, 1919, and his wife, Mary, filed to complete the pension on June 28, 1920.(20)

Bank branches not only solicited the deposits of African American adult civilians and soldiers, they also encouraged schoolchildren to make deposits and routinely "preached" to them about the importance of work and saving. Schoolchildren responded to the call and opened accounts ranging from as little as five cents to as much as twenty-five cents. In the Augusta, Georgia, branch, nearly 25 percent of the depositors were children. William Green, a six-year-old born in Hamburg, South Carolina, opened an account in the Augusta branch on January 27, 1871. (The account appears to have been opened on his behalf by his mother, Clarissa). Green attended a school in the city under the direction of a John Gardner. In addition to his parents, Monroe and Clarissa, his signature records list his three uncles (Henry, Reuben, and Jack) and three aunts (Patsy, Amy, and Emmeline). Green's mother, who washed and cooked for a living, opened adams bank and trust nebraska separate account on July 20, 1872. Her file provides the names of four of William's brothers and sisters not mentioned in his account records: John Meredith village savings bank alton nh, Winny Thomas, Sarah (dead), and Mat (dead). Four more aunts and uncles were also named: Fanny, Dafney, Elvira, Patience, Richard, and Solomon. Mrs. Green also provided the names of her father and mother, Solomon (dead) and Phoebe. Her uncle, Steward, and grandfather, Billy, were also recorded in her file.(21)

African American churches, private businesses, and beneficial societies also maintained accounts at the Freedman's Bank. These institutions often took the lead in making deposits and black owned banks in nc the driving force behind getting many individual depositors to open accounts. When the Freedman's Bank closed, however, many of these institutions, particularly the churches and beneficial societies, had to suspend or drastically curtail vital services, thus adding to the social and economic woes of the African American community. While files of organizations generally contain very little information about the institutions, they do identify leading officials, many of whom also maintained their own personal accounts.

The Union Church of Baltimore County, for example, opened an account at the Baltimore, Maryland, branch on March 24, 1868. The signature records provide the names of the board of trustees: Samuel Bruce, Nicholas Cross, Samuel Unsen, Alfred Dorsey, and Charles Johnson. The Reverend John H. Spriggs, whose signature appears on the file, apparently opened the account. Reverend Spriggs, a widower, also opened how to get a fake phone number for verification personal amount on the same day. According to his records, he lived at 78 Sarah Ann Street with his three children: Clarissa Ann, Samuel Henry, and James Edward. Spriggs requested that in the event of sickness or death, a Miss Adeline Watts was the only person authorized to draw on his account.(22)

Access to the Records

The Freedman's Bank records are a part of Record Group 101, Records of the Comptroller of the Currency. Because of the bank's close association with the Freedmen's Bureau, researchers often confuse these records with those of the bureau, which is a separate body of records, Record Group 105. The microfilm collection of the Freedman's Bank records are available in the National Archives buildings in Washington, D.C., and College Park, Maryland. The unfilmed records are available only at College Park. Send written inquires regarding these records to the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives at College Park, MD 20740-6001. Some of the regional records services facilities may also have copies of the microfilmed records; however, researchers should contact the nearest region for information concerning their availability.


1. Carl R. Osthaus, Freedmen, Philanthropy, and Fraud: A History of the Freedman's Savings Bank (1976), pp. 1–2.

2. Ibid., pp. 2–3.

3. Ibid., pp. 4–5.

4. Ibid., pp. 5–6.

5. Walter L. Flemming, The Freedman's Savings Bank: A Chapter in the Economic History of the Negro Race (1927), pp. 33–34.

6. Abby L. Gilbert "The Comptroller of the Currency and the Freedman's Savings Bank," Journal of Negro History 57 (April 1972): 130–131.

7. Several committees of Congress investigated the affairs of the Freedman's Bank and received petitions from persons who sought compensation for losses suffered when the bank failed. Information concerning these matters can be found among the records of the U.S. Senate (Record Group 46) and the U.S. House of Representatives (Record Group 233). Researchers should also examined the Congressional Serial Set for published reports and documents regarding Freedman's Bank.

8. Paula K. Byers, African American Genealogical Sourcebook (1995), p. 63.

9. Ibid., p. 63.

10. Osthaus, Freedmen, Philanthropy, and Fraud, p. 56.

11. Signature records of Dilla Warren, No. 1333, New Bern, North Carolina, Registers of Signatures of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865–1874 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M816, roll 18), Records of the Office of the Comptroller banner bank boise idaho the Currency, RG 101, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC (hereinafter, records in the National Archives will be cited as RG___, NA).

12. Signature records of James Clinket, No. 267, District of Columbia, M816, roll 4, RG 101, NA; See also signature records of Stephen Bailey, No. 17, M816, roll 4, RG 101, NA; Robert Law, No. 265, M816, roll 4, RG101, NA; Henry Lomax, No. 266, M816, roll 4, RG 101, NA; Mary Jane Jones, No. 268, M816, roll 4, RG 101, NA.

13. Joseph P. Reidy, "Coming from the Shadow of the Past: The Transition from Slavery to Freedom at Freedmen's Village, 1863-1900," The Virginia Magazine 95 (October 1987): 403–411.

14. Ibid., pp. 413–414.

15. Monthly Report of Persons and Articles Hired at Freedmen's Village, Office of the Assistant for the District of Columbia, September 1866, Entry 569, Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, RG 105, NA; See also tabular statement showing the number of acres of land on the Arlington estate rented to freedpeople, RG 105, NA.

16. Signature records of Stephen Brown, No. 2407, Augusta, Georgia, M816, roll 7, RG 101, NA.

17. Claim of Stephen Brown, Office 192, Report 5, Disallowed Case Files of the Southern Claims Commission, 1871–1880, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, RG 233, NA; For a discussion of African American claims before the Southern Claims Commission, see Reginald Washington, "The Southern Claims Commission: A Source for African-American Roots" Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives (Winter 1995), vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 374–382.

18. Osthaus, Freedmen, Philanthropy, and Fraud, p. 27.

19. Signature records for Jacob Reiley, No. 153, Savannah, Georgia, M816, roll 8, RG 101, NA.

20. Compiled Military Services Record of Jacob Reiley, private, Co. B, Thirty-third USCT (First South Carolina Volunteers), Records of the Adjutant General's Office, RG 94, NA; Civil War pension file of Jacob Reiley, private, Co. B, Thirty-third USCT (First South Carolina Volunteers), WC 894620, Records of the Veterans Administration, RG 15, NA.

21. Signature records of William Green, No. 2410, Augusta, Georgia, M816, roll 7, RG 101, NA; For the signature records of Clarissa Green, see signature card after account No. 4687, Augusta, Georgia, M816, roll 7, RG 101, NA.

22. Signature records of the Union Church of Baltimore County, No. 6258, Baltimore, Maryland, M816, roll 13, RG 101, NA.


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Wells Fargo Pledges to Invest in Black-Owned Banks in the Carolinas

NORTH CAROLINA – Wells Fargo pledges to invest up to $50 million in six black-owned banks around the country, including North Carolina and South Carolina.

One of the banks getting a big investment is located in Durham. Mechanics and Farmers Bank will get an undisclosed amount. It is the second oldest black-owned bank in the country.

“In the ongoing pandemic, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted, and this investment is part of Wells Fargo’s effort to generate a more inclusive recovery,” according to the bank’s announcement on its website.

Optus Bank in Columbia, South Carolina will also receive can i open a bank account online chase investment and support from Wells Fargo will allow us to substantially increase our impact on closing the racial wealth gap. We are grateful and committed to ensuring that this capital helps drive transformational wealth building opportunities for our communities and customers.” president and CEO of Optus Bank Dominik Mjartan says.

Other institutions around the country set to get funds:

  • Citizens Savings Bank & Trust, in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Commonwealth National Bank, in Mobile, Alabama
  • Broadway Federal Bank, in Los Angeles, California
  • Carver Federal Savings Bank, in New York, New York

The investment is designed to banks’ ability to lend and deposit money.


Black-Owned Banks by State

Ever since the founding of the Bank of North America in 1781, banking has played a critical role in facilitating the American Dream. These institutions provide indispensable monetary services, ranging from accepting deposits to offering loans. Credit is king in the United States, and without high-quality financial institutions, countless Americans would struggle to acquire vehicles, housing, and other essential items.

However, like pretty much all of the nation’s older institutions, banks have also played a significant part in America’s racist past. Racial discrimination in the banking industry and financial system has targeted African Americans, and challenges ending discrimination persist today. Black-owned banks arose as an alternative to larger institutions to provide greater access to banking services as well as an opportunity to support local communities.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) is “.a federal insured depository institution for which (1) 51 percent or more of the voting stock is owned by minority individuals; or (2) are pickles good for you during pregnancy majority of the board of directors is minority and the community that the institution serves is predominantly minority. Ownership must be by U.S. citizens or permanent legal U.S. residents to be counted in determining minority ownership.” Of the 22 Black-owned banks featured in this article, two fall into the latter category.

For the purposes of this article, Black-owned and managed credit unions that serve the Black community have been included to provide the most complete picture of America’s Black financial institutions. The article uses the term “Black-owned” in this broad sense, recognizing that stockholders own for-profit banks and members own credit unions.

Key Takeaways

  • Today—including credit unions—there are 44 Black-owned financial institutions in the United States. Taken together, they have approximately $6.82 billion in assets in total.
  • Black-owned banks provide customers not just access to the financial resources they need, but the chance to invest in the financial health and well-being of their community.
  • Black-owned banks black owned banks in nc play a critical role in fighting modern-day systemic racism in the financial sector.
  • Critics of Black-owned for-profit banks have posited that true financial justice requires institutions, such as not-for-profit credit unions, that are separate from a financial system rooted in racism and exploitation.
  • Of the 44 Black-owned financial institutions in the country, 22 are not-for-profit credit unions.

Background and History of Black-Owned Banks

Black-owned banks didn’t exist until more than a century after the Bank of North America first opened its doors. Prior to the chartering of the first Black-owned bank in 1888, Congress and President Lincoln established the Freedman’s Savings Bank in 1865. As part of the Freedman’s Bureau, this institution was designed to help newly freed African Americans navigate the U.S. financial system.

Despite Jp morgan chase bank customer service voting to close the Freedman’s Bureau in 1872, the bank continued to operate. In 1874, Frederick Douglass took over as the bank’s D.C. branch director, and he found the place to be rife with corruption and risky investments. Despite Douglass investing $10,000 of his own money in the bank in an attempt to save it, Freedman’s Savings went bankrupt later that same year. Although the Freedman’s Savings Bank doesn’t fit the modern criteria of a Black-owned bank, it represents a critical first step.

The first officially chartered Black-owned bank, the True Reformers Bank, was founded on March 2, 1888, by the Rev. William Washington Browne. A former slave and Union Army officer, Browne was founder of the Grand Fountain United Add to amazon fresh order of True Reformers fraternal organization. The True Reformers Bank came about when Browne and his organization faced financial hardships while trying to establish a new branch in Virginia. Unable to manage the order’s money without arousing suspicion from paranoid and prejudiced locals, Browne founded the True Reformers Bank so that the organization’s finances would be free of scrutiny from white people.

The bank opened its doors in 1889 and went from a small operation in Browne’s house to an institution strong enough to survive the financial panic of 1893. Although the True Reformers Bank continued to operate after Browne’s death in 1897, problems were beginning to develop by 1900. Under its new president, the Black owned banks in nc. William Lee Taylor, branches were poorly regulated, unsecured loans were made, and an embezzlement scandal cost most account mobile homes for sale under 5000 in south carolina their savings. By 1910, the State Corporation Commission had ordered the bank to be closed.

As the story of the True Reformers Bank was playing out, other Black-owned banks were also getting their start in the U.S. The Capitol Savings Bank of Washington, D.C., opened its doors on Oct. 17, 1888, roughly six months before the True Reformers Bank. Capitol Savings also managed to survive the financial panic of 1893, though it later closed in 1902.

Between 1888 and 1934, more than 134 Black-owned financial institutions were founded, predominantly located in Southern states. Their numbers dwindled during the Great Depression, leaving nine by 1930. It wasn’t until the civil rights movement that a resurgence took place, raising their numbers to 50 by 1976.

By 1988, the savings and loan crisis had wiped out 35 Black-owned banks. The start of the most recent decline came in 2001, during the early 2000s recession, which rapidly accelerated once the Great Recession began. There are 44 Black-owned financial institutions, including credit unions, left today.

“You can’t separate Black history from American history,” says Tyrone Ross, community director of Altruist, a software platform provider for financial advisors. “We’ve always been well adept and versed in financial education and the ability to be entrepreneurs. It’s just been stripped from us. So it’s OK to write these articles—or have panels or whatever—but let’s start with the history first so people go, ‘Oh, crap. It really was stripped from them, and they’re just trying to get it back.’”

Modern-Day Discrimination

In 2016, the net worth of a white family was nearly 10 times higher on average than that of a Black family. This is a result of inequality, discrimination, racism, and differences in power and opportunity compounding throughout America’s history. It also is why the diminishing number of Black-owned banks is especially of concern, given the role these institutions play in fighting modern-day systemic racism in the financial sector.

Consider redlining. This unethical and now illegal practice is used to block off access to important services for residents of certain neighborhoods based on their race or ethnicity. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, was a start. And yet, although the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 were both intended to eliminate redlining, this kind of discrimination is still seen today.

For instance, 68.1% of loans made between 2012 and 2018 for housing purchases in Chicago went to predominantly white areas; 8.1% went to predominantly Black areas. Banks also lent more money to predominantly white neighborhoods than they did to every predominantly Black neighborhood combined. This disparity is even starker when looking at individual lenders, with JPMorgan Chase lending 41 times more money in white neighborhoods than Black ones.

Chicago is far from the only place where redlining occurs. In 2018, people of color in 61 cities were more likely to be denied home loans than white residents. And if homeowners aren’t moving into—and investing in—a neighborhood, it means capital isn’t flowing into the community, which leads to poverty and crime having an inescapable presence in the area.

“One in five Black Americans now is unbanked. When you look at our poverty rates, our lack of ownership, lack of home ownership, that all goes back to economic empowerment,” Ross explains. “Economic empowerment starts with banking.”

The Importance of Black-Owned Banks

To understand why Black-owned banks matter, it’s critical to recognize the role banks play in financial life. A common service banks provide is access to a checking account, allowing for the safe storage of an individual’s funds, typically in exchange for a minimal fee. In addition to accepting monetary deposits, banks also furnish loans for both individuals and businesses looking to finance crucial purchases. Banks also offer mortgages for real estate purchases. Many banks issue credit cards, which are valuable tools for building the credit history necessary to receive most loans.

Outside of providing financial services, a number of banks have also launched programs on financial literacy for low- and moderate-income communities. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to imagine thriving in the modern economy without taking advantage of the aid that a bank can provide. And if access to these types of services is constantly denied to certain groups, it’s easy to see how these groups may face more financial difficulties than others.

Black-owned banks offer an alternative for residents who have been consistently discriminated against by other financial institutions. They have typically provided more money to borrowers living in low- and moderate-income (LMI) census tracts in the last 14 years than other banks. Black-owned banks are also more willing to tolerate higher levels of risk than alternative institutions. Our research found that in 2016, 67% capital one online login site mortgages made by Black-owned banks were either FHA mortgages—which typically serve riskier borrowers—or mortgages held “in portfolio,” meaning they are liable to the risk of the borrower defaulting.

Additionally, Black-owned banks tend to focus their lending on small businesses, nonprofits, and Black homebuyers. As of 2018, all Black-owned banks are community banks; these institutions are dedicated to supporting the economies of the communities in which they serve. Even during difficult times, Black-owned banks have stuck by their customers. During the 2007–2008 financial crisis, despite a 69% drop in all mortgage lending to Black borrowers, the number of mortgages that Black-owned banks provided rose 57%.

“So there’s lack of lending, there’s lack of funding, there’s lack of access to the ability to acquire assets and build wealth,” says Ross. “The Black community has for years been afraid of banking with traditional institutions. A lot of them live in banking deserts where there are no banks, which is also why you have credit unions, check cashing places, and payday loans.”

Without Black-owned banks, countless vulnerable consumers could be forced to rely on high-interest loans from pawn shops and payday lenders for their financing. What’s more, Black-owned banks provide customers not just access to the financial resources they need, but the chance to invest in the financial health and wellbeing of their community and fellow Americans.

“I think we have a responsibility now to realize that—if you really want to be grassroots, and you really want to help Black Americans—get that money in Black banks and then have those Black banks fund the people,” Ross says.

Other Alternatives for Community Funding

Not everyone sees Black-owned, for-profit banks as the solution. Critics argue that true financial justice requires institutions that are entirely separate from a financial system rooted in racism and exploitation.

“I’ve been very critical of for-profit Black banks and the capitalist logic that governs them,” says Prof. Guy Mount, assistant professor of African American history at Auburn University. “In my opinion, member-owned credit unions and nonprofit co-ops are the way forward for Black communities hoping to not only survive within capitalism, but build a viable Black economic alternative to it.” In fact, that choice is currently available to consumers. Of the 44 Black-owned financial institutions in the U.S.—all listed below—21 are credit unions.

Other critics have taken this concept even further. In The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, Mehrsa Baradaran, professor of law at the University of California Irvine School of Law, posits that those in power have pushed the idea of Black-owned banks as a diversionary tactic whenever the African American community demanded more direct solutions to the racial wealth gap. For instance, although the Freedman’s Bank remains a critical facet of Black history, the Freedman’s Sbi card payment through hdfc netbanking originally proposed providing newly freed slaves with an allotment of land—they received a bank instead.

More recently, when civil rights leaders began calling for a redistribution of wealth, President Richard Nixon co-opted the rhetoric of that same movement to create a civil rights platform centered around “Black capitalism.” He wasn’t the only president to support the idea of banking over financial support. President Bill Clinton introduced legislation with the aim of promoting “community empowerment” via banking. Across party lines, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama supported and upheld Clinton’s infrastructure. Former President Donald Trump had also made similar promises during his time in office.

Baradaran further argues that—as it is nearly impossible for a segregated community to keep its wealth entirely self-contained—Black-owned banks may actually facilitate the flow of money out of African American communities and into the white economy.

Prof. Mount sees it the same way, “By emerging themselves within a white-governed capitalist marketplace, Black banks are facilitating the very extraction of wealth from the communities they purport to serve,” he says.

Black-Owned Banks: State-by-State Breakdown

While the number of Black-owned financial institutions may have declined from their peak, they cumulatively have a not-insignificant presence. According to Bank Black USA, historical Black-owned bank assets have totaled over $7.6 billion. As of Feb. 4, 2021, the 41 Black-owned banks and credit unions in the U.S. have approximately $6.82 billion in assets. And although 28 states have no Black-owned financial the giving keys inc within their borders, several organizations have a presence across the U.S. because of their partnerships with major ATM networks. Additionally, of the 41 Black-owned financial institutions in the country, half are not-for-profit credit unions.

The majority of Black-owned institutions offer both traditional brick-and-mortar branches and online/mobile services. Even OneUnited Bank, originally an Internet-only bank, now has multiple physical locations across the U.S. Ensuring online accessibility is a smart move considering that, in 2017, approximately 17.7% of African-American consumers were more likely to use mobile banking as their primary method of accessing their accounts. Currently, Columbia Savings and Loan is the sole institution without any online or mobile banking services.

Below: a list of Black-owned banks and credit unions in the U.S., in alphabetical order.

1st Choice Credit Union

Founded in 1946, the Hospital Authority Credit Union was created to provide financial services to employees of Grady Hospital. In 1991, the organization became known as 1st Choice Credit Union.

  • Branches: Auburn Avenue Administrative Office (Atlanta, Ga.) and Grady Memorial Hospital (Atlanta, Ga.)
  • ATMs: Crestview Health & Rehabilitation Center (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ponce De Leon Center (Atlanta, Ga.)
  • States: Georgia
  • Services: Personal and business checking and savings, in addition to loans (personal, mortgage, etc.)
  • Assets: $30.77 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Alamerica Bank

Alamerica Bank was originally organized by a group of prominent Birmingham, Ala., community leaders on Jan. 28, 2000. Alamerica achieved operational profitability after six black owned banks in nc of operation.

  • Branches: The Alamerica Bank Building (Birmingham, Ala.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Alabama
  • Services: Deposit services (business and personal accounts), loan services (commercial and personal loans), Internet banking, image statements, and MasterMoney debit cards
  • Assets: $15.36 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Broadway Federal Bank

The Broadway Federal Bank is a subsidiary of Broadway Financial Corporation, a bank holding company located in Los Angeles, Calif. Formerly known as the Broadway Federal Savings and Loan Association, founded in 1946, the original building was destroyed by a fire on April 30, 1992. In December 1995, the organization was converted from a federally chartered mutual savings association to a federally chartered stock savings bank, hence the new name.

  • Branches: Mid-Wilshire Branch (Los Angeles, Calif.), Inglewood Branch (Inglewood, Calif.), and Exposition Park Branch (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • ATMs: Part of the MoneyPass network
  • States: California
  • Services: Personal and business accounts, credit cards, and loan products
  • Assets: $497.03 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Brookland Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1999, the Brookland Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that provides financial services to members of Brookland Baptist Church and their immediate family members. If you join Brookland Federal, you and your family have a lifetime membership.

  • Branches: Brookland Federal Credit Union (West Columbia, S.C.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: South Carolina
  • Services: Savings, checking, loans, and other services (financial literacy, guaranteed auto protection, etc.)
  • Assets: $3.40 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Carver Federal Savings Bank

The Carver Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1948 to serve African American communities with limited access to mainstream financial services. The majority of its branches and ATMs are located in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. Carver Federal Savings Bank is one of the two banks that are considered “Black-operated” instead of Black-owned.

  • Branches: Atlantic Terminal Branch (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Bedford-Stuyvesant — Restoration Plaza Branch (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Crown Heights Branch (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Flatbush Branch (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and St Albans Branch (Jamaica, N.Y.), 125th Street Branch (New York City, N.Y.), and Chase bank logan square hours X Boulevard Branch (New York City, N.Y.)
  • ATMs: Malcolm X Boulevard Branch (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and 125th Street Branch (New York City, N.Y.)
  • States: New York
  • Services: Personal and business banking, loans, and community cash
  • Assets: $673.05 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Carver State Bank

Established on Feb. 23, 1927, the Georgia Savings and Realty Corporation was a small, private bank as well as a real estate investment and management company. In 1947, the original institution was converted to a state bank and became known as the Carver Savings Bank. By 1962, Carver had become a full-service commercial bank, thus its name was changed once more to the Carver State Bank.

  • Branches: Main Office (Savannah, Ga.) and Skidaway Branch (Savannah, Ga.)
  • ATMs: Main Office (Savannah, Ga.), Skidaway Branch (Savannah, Ga.), and Hilton Head International Airport (Savannah, Ga.)
  • States: Georgia
  • Services: Personal accounts (checking and savings), business accounts, loans, development programs, and other services (cashier’s checks, money orders, etc.)
  • Assets: $48.39 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Citizens Bank

In 1904, the One Cent Savings Bank became the first minority-owned bank in Tennessee. The institution’s name was changed to the Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Co. in 1920. Citizens Bank is the oldest, continuously operating Black-owned bank in the U.S.

  • Branches: Memphis Winchester Road Branch (Memphis, Tenn.) and Main Office (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • ATMs: Main Office (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • States: Tennessee
  • Services: Personal and business banking (checking and savings), credit cards, and loans (personal, business, etc.)
  • Assets: $100 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Citizens Trust Bank

In 1921, the Citizens Trust Bank was created to serve the African American citizens of Atlanta. Today, the bank plays an active role in providing sponsorship support for multiple community organizations.

  • Branches: Birmingham (Birmingham, Ala.), Eutaw Branch (Eutaw, Ala.), Cascade Branch (Atlanta, Ga.), Corporate Headquarters (Atlanta, Ga.), Westside Branch (Atlanta, Ga.), East Point Branch (East Point, Ga.), and Rockbridge Branch (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
  • ATMs: Castleberry Inn ATM (Atlanta, Ga.), Westside ATM (Atlanta, Ga.), South Dekalb Mall ATM (Decatur, Ga.), Lithonia ATM (Lithonia, Ga.), Rockbridge Plaza ATM (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Stone Mountain ATM (Stone Mountain, Ga.), and Panola ATM (Stonecrest, Ga.)
  • States: Alabama and Georgia
  • Services: Banking (savings, checking, etc.) and borrowing (loans, credit cards, etc.) services 
  • Assets: $536.65 million
  • Availability: Online and brick-and-mortar

Columbia Savings & Loan

Columbia Savings & Loan has served Milwaukee’s inner city, particularly its minority population, since 1924.

  • Branches: Columbia Savings & Loan Association (Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Wisconsin
  • Services: Mortgages, church loans, and CDs/IRAs
  • Assets: $24.41 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar only

Commonwealth National Bank

Founded in 1976, the Commonwealth National Bank is a full-service nationally chartered commercial institution. Commonwealth is the sole bank headquartered in Mobile, out of the 45 banks doing business there. In addition to being the only Minority Depository Institution (MDI) in Mobile, it is one of two in Alabama.

  • Branches: Main Office Branch (Mobile, Ala.) and Crichton Branch (Mobile, Ala.)
  • ATMs: Main Office Branch (Mobile, Ala.), Crichton Branch (Mobile, Ala.), any Publix Super Market ATM, and any PNC Bank ATM
  • States: Alabama
  • Services: Consumer and business services, in addition to loans
  • Assets: $55.06 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Community Owned Federal Credit Union

In 1966, the Community Owned Federal Credit Union was founded to provide low-income communities in Johns Island and part of Charleston with financial services typically denied to them by mainstream institutions. Membership has since grown to include the entire Charleston area.

  • Branches: Community Owned Federal Credit Union (Charleston, S.C.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: South Carolina
  • Services: Primary savings account, loans, and other services (direct and payroll deposit, in addition to credit workshops)
  • Assets: $6.54 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Credit Union of Atlanta

Founded in 1928, the Credit Union of Atlanta remained stable and secure throughout the Great Depression. Any profits earned are used to secure better rates for the institution’s members.

  • Branches: Main Office (Atlanta, Ga.) and Pryor Street Lending Center (Atlanta, Ga.)
  • ATMs: Atlanta Detention Center (Atlanta, Ga.), Atlanta Public Safety Annex (Atlanta, Ga.), Credit Union of Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.), and Pryor Street Lending Center (Atlanta, Ga.), in addition to any ATMs in check chase credit card application MoneyPass and STAR networks
  • States: Georgia
  • Services: Personal savings and checking, business checking, credit builder and personal loans, and payment protection
  • Assets: $77.91 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Faith Community United Credit Union

Originally chartered in 1952 as Second Mount Sinai Baptist Church Credit Union, Faith Community United Credit Union became a Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) in 1991. Faith is one of the largest minority-owned Credit Unions in Ohio, and it is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attend school in Cuyahoga County as well as their family, business, and organization. Membership is also possible through a Select Employee Group (SEG).

  • Branches: Faith Community United Credit Union (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Ohio
  • Services: Deposit services, loan the giving keys inc, insurance, and other services
  • Assets: $18.01 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Faith Cooperative Credit Union

The story of the Faith Cooperative Credit Union is a tale of two different organizations. St. John Federal Credit Union was founded in 1959. It became known as the Faith Cooperative Credit Union after it was integrated black owned banks in nc the Friendship-West Baptist Church’s vision of a microloan bank.

  • Branches: Administrative Offices (Dallas, Texas)
  • ATMs: One located “near the Banquet Hall”
  • States: Texas
  • Services: Savings, loans, and gap protection
  • Assets: $1.67 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

FAMU Federal Credit Union

On May 8, 1935, six individuals were convinced to deposit $50 to acquire a federal credit union charter, resulting in the founding of the Florida A&M College Employees Federal Credit Union. By 1953, the organization renamed to Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union due to its location on the FAMU campus.

  • Branches: Office (Tallahassee, Fla.)
  • ATMs: One located in the “first drive-thru lane”as well asany ATMs that are part of the American Express, CULIANCE, The Exchange, Honors, Member Access, Plus, Presto, Publix, Walmart, and “other Credit Unions with the participating listed networks”
  • States: Florida
  • Services: Accounts (checking, savings, IRA), Rattler debit and VISA credit cards, loans, wire transfers, and other services (notary services, bill payments, etc.)
  • Assets: $22.85 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

First Independence Bank

In business since May 11, 1970, the First Independence Bank has served the Detroit Metropolitan area for 50 years. First Independence is the sole African American‐owned bank headquartered in Michigan, in addition to being navy federal no down payment mortgage of two banks headquartered in Detroit.

  • Branches: Clinton Township Branch (Clinton Township, Mich.), Main Office Branch (Detroit, Mich.), and Seven Mile Branch (Detroit, Mich.)
  • ATMs: Garfield Branch (Clinton Township, Mich.), 1st Floor International Building (Detroit, Mich.), City County Building (Detroit, Mich.), Livernois (Detroit, Mich.), and Main Office Branch (Detroit, Mich.), Seven Mile Branch (Detroit, Mich.), in addition to “any nationwide . Fifth Third, TCF, or Chemical Bank ATM . in the Metro Detroit area”
  • States: Michigan
  • Services: Consumer and business services, in addition to loans
  • Assets: $290.57 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

First Legacy Community Credit Union

The School Workers Federal Credit Union mobile homes for sale under 5000 in south carolina founded by a group of educators in Feb. 14, 1941. On Jan. 1, 2020, First Legacy Community Credit Union merged with the Self-Help Federal Credit Union and now operates as a division of Self-Help.

  • Branches: First Legacy Community Credit Union (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • ATMs: Part of the CO-OP/Covera ATM network
  • States: North Carolina
  • Services: Checking, savings, loans, and other services
  • Assets: $29.33 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

First Security Bank

The Security Trust and Savings Bank first opened for business in 1903. Twenty-six years later, it merged with the First National Bank of Charles City, creating the First Security Bank & Trust.

  • Branches: Aredale (Aredale, Iowa), Charles City Branch (Charles City, Iowa), Dumont Branch (Dumont, Iowa), Hampton Branch (Hampton, Iowa), Ionia Branch (Ionia, Iowa), Manly Branch (Manly, Iowa), Marble Rock Branch (Marble Rock, Iowa), Nora Springs Branch (Nora Springs, Iowa), Riceville Branch (Riceville, Iowa), Rockford Branch (Rockford, Iowa), Rockwell Branch (Rockwell, Iowa), Rudd Branch (Rudd, Iowa), and Thornton Branch (Thornton, Iowa)
  • ATMs: Charles City Branch (Charles City, Iowa), Manly Branch (Manly, Iowa), Marble Rock Branch (Marble Rock, Iowa), Nora Springs Branch (Nora Springs, Iowa), Riceville Branch (Riceville, Iowa), Rockford Branch (Rockford, Iowa), Rockwell Branch (Rockwell, Iowa), and Thornton Branch (Thornton, Iowa)
  • States: Iowa
  • Services: Personal (checking, savings, etc.), business (checking, savings, etc.), and lending (personal and auto loans, mortgage and home equity, etc.)
  • Assets: $564.98 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

GN Bank

In 1934—after working closely with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago—13 African American men founded Illinois Service Federal to provide a savings and loan association for Black Chicagoans. The institution was acquired by Groupe Ndoum in 2016, which led to its name change to GN Bank in 2018.

  • Branches: Main Branch (Chicago, Ill.) and Chatham Office (Chicago, Ill.)
  • ATMs: Main Branch (Chicago, Ill.) and Chatham Office (Chicago, Ill.), in addition to any ATMs in the STAR network
  • States: Illinois
  • Services: Personal (checking, savings, and credit cards) and small business services (checking, lending, credit cards)
  • Assets: $133 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Greater Kinston Credit Union

The Greater Kinston Credit Union was founded in 1952 and provides a variety of loans and deposit accounts. People who live, work, worship, or attend functions in Lenoir, Greene, Jones, Craven, and Pitt counties are eligible for membership.

  • Branches: Branch Office (Kinston, N.C.)
  • ATMs: Part of the CashPoints network
  • States: North Carolina
  • Services: Debit and credit cards; deposit (checking, savings, etc.), nonprofit, and youth accounts; mortgage and personal lending; and other services (automated services, branch services, etc.)
  • Assets: $12.91 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Hill District Federal Credit Union

The Hill District Federal Credit Union got its start in 1970 and has provided financial services to its members for 50 years. People who live, work, or worship in the Hill District—as well as members of an organization that provides economic assistance in the same area—are eligible to join this institution.

  • Branches: Hill District Federal Credit Union (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Pennsylvania
  • Services: Debit and gift cards, savings, checking, loans, other services (money orders, financial literacy classes, etc.)
  • Assets: $7.79 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Hope Credit Union

In 1995, members of the Anderson United Methodist Church organized the Hope Federal Credit Union to help low-income Jackson, Miss., residents with asset development, cooperation, and self-empowerment. Hope has since spread across the Deep South through its sponsors and by merging with other financial organizations, with the most recent being the Tri-Rivers Federal Credit Union in 2007. In June 2020, Netflix invested $10 million into Hope as part of its $100 million initiative to support economic opportunities for Black communities.

  • Branches: ArbaStreet Branch (Montgomery, Ala.), McGehee Road Branch (Montgomery, Ala.), College Station Branch (College Station, Ark.), Little Rock Branch (Little Rock, Ark.), Pine Bluff Branch (Pine Bluff, Ark.), West Memphis Branch (West Memphis, Ark.), Central City Branch (New Orleans, La.), Elysian Fields Branch (New Orleans, La.), Michoud Assembly Facility Branch (New Orleans, La.), Mississippi Coast Branch (Biloxi, Miss.), Drew Branch (Drew, Miss.), Greenville Branch (Greenville, Miss.), Itta Bena Branch (Itta Bena, Miss.), Medical Mall Branch (Jackson, Miss.), University Boulevard Branch (Jackson, Miss.), Louisville Branch (Louisville, Miss.), Macon Branch (Macon, Miss.), Moorhead Branch (Moorhead, Miss.), Robinsonville Branch (Robinsonville, Miss.), Shaw Branch (Shaw, Miss.), Terry MS Branch (Terry, Miss.), Utica Branch (Utica, Miss.), West Point Branch (West Point, Miss.), Jackson Branch (Jackson, Tenn.), Crosstown Branch (Memphis, Tenn.), Harvester Lane Branch (Memphis, Tenn.), Madison Avenue Branch (Memphis, Tenn.), and Ridgeway Branch (Memphis, Tenn.), in addition to any credit unions in the Shared Branching network.
  • ATMs: Pine Bluff Branch (Pine Bluff, Ark.), West Memphis Branch (West Memphis, Ark.), Central City Branch (New Orleans, La.), Elysian Fields Branch (New Orleans, La.), Mississippi Coast Branch (Biloxi, Miss.), Drew Branch (Drew, Miss.), Greenville Branch (Greenville, Miss.), Medical Mall Branch (Jackson, Miss.), University Boulevard Branch (Jackson, Miss.), Robinsonville Branch (Robinsonville, Miss.), Shaw Branch (Shaw, Miss.), Terry MS Branch (Terry, Miss.), Jackson Branch (Jackson, Tenn.), Harvester Lane Branch (Memphis, Tenn.), Madison Avenue Branch (Memphis, Tenn.), and Ridgeway Branch (Memphis, Tenn.)
  • States: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
  • Services: Personal (checking and wealth-building accounts, personal loans, credit cards, etc.) and business capital one secured credit card online payment and loans) banking, in addition to transformational deposits
  • Assets: $361.29 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Howard University Employees Federal Credit Union

Originally chartered on Oct. 11, 1935, the Howard University Employees Federal Credit Union provides financial services to employees of Howard University and their family members. Those who join Howard University Employees FCU have a lifetime membership.

  • Branches: C B Powell Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • ATMs: Part of the CO-OP and CU Here networks
  • Locations: Washington, D.C.
  • Services: Accounts (savings, checking, etc.) and loans
  • Assets: $10 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online (home loans only)

Industrial Bank

Industrial Bank first opened on Aug. 20, 1934, and is one of the larger Black-owned banks in the U.S. In addition to a wide variety of financial services, Industrial Bank also offers free financial education programs.

  • Branches: Harlem Banking Center (New York City, N.Y.), Bergen Street Banking Center (Newark, N.J.), Halsey Street Black owned banks in nc Center (Newark, N.J.), Anacostia Gateway Banking Center (Washington, D.C.), F Street Banking Center (Washington, D.C.), Forestville Banking Center (Washington, D.C.), Georgia Avenue Banking Center (Washington, D.C.), J.H. Mitchell Banking Center (Washington, D.C.), Oxon Hill Banking Center (Washington, D.C.), and U Street Banking Center (Washington, D.C.)
  • ATMs: Harlem Office (New York City, N.Y.), Bergen Street Office (Newark, N.J.), Halsey Street Office (Newark, N.J.), Anacostia Gateway Office (Washington, D.C.), Ben’s Chili Bowl (Washington, D.C.), DC Court of Appeals (Washington, D.C.), DC Superior Court (2) (Washington, D.C.), F Street Office (Washington, D.C.), Forestville Office (Washington, D.C.), Georgia Avenue Office (Washington, D.C.), J.H. Mitchell Office (Washington, D.C.), Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.), Oxon Hill Office (Washington, D.C.), and U Street Office (Washington, D.C.), in addition to any ATMs in the Allpoint network
  • States: New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C.
  • Services: Personal (loans, checking, etc.) and business (services, loans, etc.) services
  • Assets: $432 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online 

Liberty Bank

Liberty Bank was originally chartered in New Orleans in 1972. After acquiring the United Bank and Trust Company in 2009, its service grew across the Greater New Orleans area. Liberty Bank is the second-largest Black-owned bank in physical footprint, with branches in eight states.

  • Branches: Montgomery Liberty Bank (Montgomery, Ala.), Tuskegee Liberty Bank (Tuskegee, Ala.), Liberty Bank Forest Park (Forest Park, Ill.), Kansas City Liberty Bank (Kansas City, Kan.), Louisville Liberty Bank (Louisville, Ky.), Southdowns Liberty Bank (Baton Rouge, La.), Southern Heights Liberty Bank (Baton Rouge, La.), Canal Street Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Crowder Blvd Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Franklin Ave Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), General DeGaulle Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Gentilly Blvd Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Woodward Ave Liberty Bank (Detroit, Mich.), Jackson Liberty Bank (Jackson, Miss.), and Kansas City Liberty Bank (Kansas City, Mo.)
  • ATMs: Montgomery Liberty Bank (Montgomery, Ala.), Tuskegee Liberty Bank (Tuskegee, Ala.), Liberty Bank Forest Park (Forest Park, Ill.), 4850 State Street (Kansas City, Kan.), Southdowns Liberty Bank (Baton Rouge, La.), Southern Heights Liberty Bank (Baton Rouge, La.), 910-B Decatur Street (New Orleans, La.), 2800 Gravier Street (New Orleans, La.), American Can (New Orleans, La.), Canal Street Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), City Hall (New Orleans, La.), Crowder Blvd Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Dillard — Rosenwald Hall (New Orleans, La.), Franklin Rouses (New Orleans, La.), French Market (New Orleans, La.), General DeGaulle Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Gentilly Blvd Liberty Bank (New Orleans, La.), Lafon Nursing Facility (New Orleans, La.), Lockheed Martin Buildings 102 & 350 (New Orleans, La.), Orleans Sheriff (New Orleans, La.), Xavier University (2) (New Orleans, La.), Jackson Evers International Airport (Jackson, Miss.), Jackson Liberty Bank (Jackson, Miss.), Student Center (Jackson, Miss.), Tougaloo College (Jackson, Miss.), and Union Station (Jackson, Miss.)
  • States: Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri
  • Services: Personal (checking, savings, etc.), business (checking, savings, etc.), and institutional (cash management, corporate financing, etc.) services
  • Assets: $756.77 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Mechanics & Farmers Bank

Founded in 1907 by nine businessmen, the Mechanics & Farmers Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank. By 1935, M&F Bank became the first lending institution in North Carolina to receive FHA black owned banks in nc. Mechanics & Farmers merged with Fraternal Bank & Trust in 1921 and acquired Mutual Community Savings Bank in 2008.

  • Branches: Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.), Corporate Headquarters (Durham, N.C.), Durham Branch — Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard (Durham, N.C.), Greensboro (Greensboro, N.C.), Raleigh Branch — Rock Quarry Road (Raleigh, N.C.), Winston-Salem (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • ATMs: Durham Branch (Durham, N.C.) and Raleigh Branch — East Hargett Street (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • States: North Carolina
  • Services: Personal (checking and savings accounts, loans, etc.) and business (commercial checking and savings, loans, etc.) services, in addition to wealth management
  • Assets: $316.45 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Mount Olive Baptist Church Federal Credit Union

It received its Federal Charter on Oct. 21, 1997. The Mount Olive Baptist Church Federal Credit Union is a faith-based, not-for-profit financial institution. Mount Olive Baptist Church members and their immediate families are eligible to join this organization.

  • Branches: Mount Olive Baptist Church FCU (Dallas, Texas)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Texas
  • Services: Loans (auto, unsecured, etc.), savings accounts, direct deposits, and wire transfers
  • Assets: $8.36 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Oak Cliff Christian Federal Credit Meredith village savings bank alton nh

Officially chartered on Sept. 22, 2008, the Oak Cliff Christian Federal Credit Union is a Christian-based financial institution sponsored by the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Members, employees, students, or family of the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (and its subsidiaries) are eligible to join the organization.

  • Branches: Oak Cliff Christian FCU (Dallas, Texas)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Texas
  • Services: Loans, financial products (IRAs, money market, etc.), direct deposit, money orders, and credit reports
  • Assets: $7.34 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1986, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Federal Credit Union is open to members of the fraternity, including its chapters, districts, and other related organizations, and their families, in addition to employees of both the fraternity and credit union itself.

  • Branches: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Federal Credit Union c/o CAMO (Toccoa, Ga.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Georgia
  • Services: Accounts (single, joint, etc.), share draft checking, loans, and credit cards
  • Assets: $2.35 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank was the first online-only Black-owned bank and is the largest Black-owned bank citibank atm locations near me now the U.S. Originally founded in 1968 as Unity Bank and Trust Company, OneUnited has financed more than $100 million in loans thus far, predominantly in low- to moderate-income communities.

“Everyone is talking about OneUnited Bank now, but what they’re not focusing on with OneUnited Bank is they’re heavily engaged in financial education and financial literacy in the cities that need it most,” Tyrone Ross, community director of Altruist, explains. “So I feel like right now, when you support OneUnited, again you get those end roads into their programs they already have instituted to provide access to financial education and financial literacy.”

  • Branches: Compton Branch (Coming Soon) (Compton, Calif.), Corporate Office and Crenshaw Branch (Los Angeles, Calif.), Miami Branch (Miami, Fla.), Corporate Headquarters (Boston, Mass.), and Roxbury Branch (Roxbury, Mass.)
  • ATMs: Part of the MoneyPass network
  • States: California, Florida, and Massachusetts
  • Services: Checking, savings, and secured VISA credit card
  • Assets: $650 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online


The story of OPTUS began in 1921, with the founding of the Victory Savings Bank by a group of African American leaders. OPTUS is committed to helping anyone, regardless of background or situation, build their wealth and improve their lives.

  • Branches: Main Branch (Columbia, S.C.)
  • ATMs: Beltline Branch (Columbia, S.C.), Corporate Office (Columbia, S.C.), and Main Branch (Columbia, S.C.)
  • States: South Carolina
  • Services: Personal (IRAs, consumer loans, etc.) and business (transaction accounts, merchant services, etc.) banking
  • Assets: $161.53 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

South Side Community Federal Credit Union

Since 2004, the South Side Community Federal Credit Union has offered access to credit and savings services for its members, in addition to financial education. Individuals are eligible for membership if they live, work, worship, attend school, or belong to an organization that is within Chicago’s South Side.

  • Branches: South Side Community Federal Credit Union (Chicago, Ill.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Illinois
  • Services: Accounts (savings, checking, etc.), loans (payroll advance, payday alternative, etc.), financial education classes, and other services (transfer sweeps, money orders, etc.)
  • Assets: $5.08 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Southern Teachers & Parents Federal Credit Union

With more than 80 years of service, Southern Teachers & Parents Federal Credit Union provides personalized financial services to its members. Those eligible for membership include alumni, employees, parents, and students of Southern University; employees in Assumption, East Baton Rouge, Lafourche, and West Feliciana parishes; employees in Thibodaux and the Lafourche Parish Juvenile Justice Facility; and their family members.

  • Branches: Main Office (Baton Rouge, La.) and Lafeda Branch (Thibodaux, La.)
  • ATMs: Part of the CU Alliance network
  • States: Louisiana
  • Services: Accounts (checking, savings, and youth), loans, other services (VISA debit and credit cards, financial counseling, etc.)
  • Assets: $30.34 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

St. Louis Community Credit Union

Originally chartered in 1942 as the Teachers Credit Union, St. Louis Community Credit Union offers both financial services and several programs to support consumers in the local community. Individuals who live or work in St. Louis City, Franklin, and St. Louis county in Missouri—as well as in St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, and Jersey counties in Illinois—are eligible for membership, in addition to their families.

  • Branches: Ferguson Branch (Ferguson, Mo.), Florissant Branch (Florissant, Mo.), Flower Valley Branch (Florissant, Mo.), Pagedale Branch (Pagedale, Mo.), Richmond Heights (Richmond Heights, Mo.), St. John Branch (St. John), Benton Park Branch (St. Louis, Mo.), Gateway Branch (St. Louis, Mo.), Grace Hill (St. Louis, Mo.), Jennings Branch (St. Louis, Mo.), LifeWise STL (St. Louis, Mo.), Midtown Branch (St. Louis, Mo.), South City (St. Louis, Mo.), Southtown Branch (St. Louis, Mo.), Sullivan Branch (St. Louis, Mo.), University City (University City, Mo.), MET Center (Wellston, Mo.)
  • ATMs: Part of the CO-OP network
  • States: Missouri
  • Services: Loans (auto, personal, etc.), accounts (savings and checking), business development, advocacy, and insurance (life, AD&D, etc.)
  • Assets: $285 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

The Harbor Bank of Maryland

Originally opening its doors in September 1982, The Harbor Bank of Maryland offers banking and other financial services, primarily in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Harbor Bank was also the first community bank in the U.S. to have an investment subsidiary and the first to receive funding from Fannie Mae via the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program. Harbor Bank is one of the two banks that are considered “Black-operated” instead of Black-owned.

  • Branches: Inner Harbor East Office (Baltimore, Md.), Main Office (Baltimore, Md.), Pimlico Office (Baltimore, Md.), Research Park Office (Baltimore, Md.), The Harbor Science & Technology Park East Branch (Baltimore, Md.),Randallstown Office (Randallstown, Md.), and Silver Spring (Silver Spring, Md.)
  • ATMs: Inner Harbor East Office (Baltimore, Md.), Main Office (Baltimore, Md.), Pimlico Office (Baltimore, Md.), Research Park Office (Baltimore, Md.), The Harbor Science & Technology Park East Branch (Baltimore, Md.),Randallstown Office (Randallstown, Md.), and Silver Spring (Silver Spring, Md.), in addition to any ATMS in the AllPoint network
  • States: Maryland
  • Services: Personal (checking, mortgages, etc.) and business (checking, savings, etc.) banking, in addition to loans (personal, mortgage, and business)
  • Assets: $327.45 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union originally opened its doors on July 21, 1996, to help its members achieve economic empowerment. Membership in Toledo’s first community development credit union is available to individuals who live, work, worship, perform volunteer services, or participate in associations headquartered in the central city community, in addition to their families.

  • Branches: Nexus Building (Toledo, Ohio) and Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union (Toledo, Ohio)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: Ohio
  • Services: Checking and share accounts, loans (personal, tuition, etc.), credit and ATM/debit cards, credit counseling, and other services (notary service, overdraft protection, etc.)
  • Assets: $10 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Tri-State Bank

In the first 10 years after its founding in 1946, Tri-State Bank of Memphis made more than $10 million in first mortgage loans on homes, representing home ownership for more than 2,000 African American families. Tri-State has also played a critical part in the civil rights movement, including hosting local sit-ins in the bank’s boardroom, providing bail money for protesters, and providing $60,000 in loans to help save the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, from foreclosure in 1982.

  • Branches: Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.)
  • ATMs: Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.) and any ATMs in the Money Tower network
  • States: Tennessee
  • Services: Personal (checking, savings, etc.), business (checking, savings, etc.), loans (auto, mortgage, etc.), and other services (financial education, Fraud Center, etc.)
  • Assets: $111 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

United Bank of Philadelphia

Originally founded in 1992, United Bank of Philadelphia offers personalized banking services in the Greater Philadelphia area to both individuals and businesses. By providing financing to small businesses in urban areas, United Bank supports their growth and allows them to create jobs with livable wages, thus improving the economic condition of those working in the local community.

  • Branches: Center City (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Progress Plaza (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • ATMs: C-Town Supermarket (Philadelphia, Pa.), City Hall (Philadelphia, Pa.), Criminal Justice Center (Philadelphia, Pa.), Masjidullah Inc. (Philadelphia, Pa.), Philadelphia Traffic Court (Philadelphia, Pa.), Police Nearest dollar bank (Philadelphia, Pa.), Revolutions at Penn Treaty (Philadelphia, Pa.), The Fillmore-Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.), and West Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • States: Pennsylvania
  • Services: Personal and business banking (checking, savings, etc.), in addition to loans (SBA and commercial loans)
  • Assets: $54.64 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Black owned banks in nc National Bank

The bank was founded in 1963 and chartered in 1985. “In February 1989, through a series of transactions and diligent efforts, it was acquired from Bay Bancshares by local minority leaders,” the bank’s history reports. Unity focuses on helping to rebuild the community with an emphasis on commercial loans and mortgages. It also works closely with civic organizations and agencies, such as the NAACP and the Third Ward Redevelopment Council.

  • Branches: Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.) Blodgett (Houston, Texas), and Fort Bend (Missouri City, Texas)
  • ATMs: Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.) Blodgett (Houston, Texas), and Fort Bend (Missouri City, Texas), in addition to any ATMs in the Select network
  • States: Georgia and Texas
  • Services: Business and personal services (loans, checking and savings accounts, etc.)
  • Assets: $133.61 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union

Urban Upbound was founded in 2004, to provide five integrated programs to individuals living in public housing and and other low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union offers affordable financial services to its members.

  • Branches: Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union (Long Island City, N.Y.)
  • ATMs: N/A
  • States: New York
  • Services: Savings, share certificates, as well as personal and small business loans
  • Assets: $1.35 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Virginia State University Federal Credit Union

Authority to establish the Virginia State College Federal Credit Union was granted on Oct. 19, 1938. On May 22, 1979, the organization’s board of directors voted to change the name to the Virginia State University Federal Credit Union.

  • Branches: Virginia State University Federal Credit Union (South Chesterfield, Va.)
  • ATMs: Virginia State University Federal Credit Union (South Chesterfield, Va.)
  • States: Virginia
  • Services: Loans, accounts (checking, savings, etc.), insurance, and other services (wire transfer, direct deposit, etc.)
  • Assets: $10.17 million
  • Availability: Brick-and-mortar and online

Mechanic & Farmers Bank

Founded in 1907 by nine Durham community builders and leaders, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, known today as M&F Bank laid the foundation for Black Wall Street in downtown Durham. At a time when African Americans did not have access to white-owned banks, Mechanics and Farmers Bank provided a secure place for depositors to accumulate wealth, a place sensitive to the needs of the Black community, and a place committed to helping the community become self-supporting. Built in 1923 by Calvin Lightner, Raleigh’s branch opened on Black Main Street. It was one of the only banks in Raleigh that did not fail after the stock market crash of 1929. M&F Bank still occupies the same building today, although it has been remodeled and is unrecognizable from its original appearance. Jp morgan chase bank customer service Bank is North Carolina’s oldest Black-owned bank and is the second oldest minority-owned bank in the United States. 


Year: 1923
Condition: Original building has been remodeled


13 E Hargett St
Raleigh, NC 27601

Get Directions 


On August 14, 1920, this structure opened for business as the Albemarle Bank, the first African American-owned bank in northeastern North Carolina. Building off a long tradition of mutual aid within African American communities, African American-owned banks provided their clientele with savings and loans opportunities along with respectful customer service. These goods and services were especially important during the era when Black people in the United States endured segregation and other forms of legal discrimination. By 1924, North Carolina was home to ten African American-owned banks.

The Albemarle Bank served its clientele for five years before its closure in 1925. It offered a popular Christmas Club savings program and customer appreciation days that celebrated different groups of depositors like farmers, women, children, churches, clubs, businesses and professionals. Unfortunately, the bank was forced to close its doors due to slow debt collection and financial irregularities. This disappointing end indicated the fragility of all banking institutions prior to the formation of the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933. The former bank building has since housed several other businesses including a carolina executive realty store, a cupcake shop, and, now, a project management company.


The number of Black-owned banks in the U.S. has been dwindling, but recent regulatory changes and momentum to fight social injustice are creating some tailwinds for the minority depository institutions.

Since 2002, the number of Black-owned banks has fallen 47.5% to 21 as of March 31, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. However, the death of George Floyd while in police custody ignited nationwide protests against racism, and for some Black-owned banks, the focus on race and equality is translating to new business.

"[The increased interest] has been very energizing and helpful," said Todd McDonald, a senior vice president at Liberty Bank and Trust Co., a Black-owned bank based in New Orleans. "Since there are only around 20 Black-owned banks left, we need the support, the capital and the customers."

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McDonald said the heightened awareness has led to checking and savings account growth for his bank.

"These openings have been all online, so we have seen an increase in customers from across the country," he said. "All of this stuff coming together seems very promising for a brighter future for not just Black-owned banks, but MDI banks in general."

To qualify as a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-designated MDI, minority individuals must own more than half of an institution's voting stock or make up a majority of the bank's board. The institutions also need to serve a community that is predominantly minority.

The shrinking number of Black-owned banks can have a negative impact on access to capital for their communities.

"Black-owned banks do more lending to Black individuals and tend to be more likely located in low- to moderate-income minority communities," said Megan Juelfs, a professor at the University of Virginia who has researched minority banking.

However, some larger collective efforts are helping raise awareness for the minority depository institutions. A "Bank Black" campaign started in 2016 is gaining new momentum. Bank Black USA, a grassroots organization that formed following deadly shootings in Black communities in July 2016, says its goal is to "connect individual and collective awareness, understanding, potential, and wealth toward the betterment and stability of Black communities and the Black experience in America."

Inspired by the movement, Netflix Inc. announced in June it would shift 2% of its cash holdings, initially up to $100 million, to institutions and organizations that serve Black communities. The company said it would use $25 million of the cash holdings to establish a fund that invests in Black financial institutions serving low and moderate-income communities and Black community development corporations in the U.S.

After the Netflix announcement, James Sills III said he has received many calls from major corporations around the U.S. looking for collaboration with the Black-owned institution he runs, Durham, N.C.-based M&F Bancorp Inc. and unit Mechanics and Farmers Bank.

"We have seen an increase in deposit growth as well as a slight increase in loan growth," Sills said in an interview. "Corporations, nonprofits, other small and medium-sized businesses are calling us to find out how can they partner with our institution, which is really good."

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An update to the Community Reinvestment Act, a law designed to prevent redlining — the practice of providing unequal credit access or terms to residents of certain areas — and encourage lending to low- and moderate-income communities, may also prove helpful for MDIs. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal banking regulator, updated the law to provide clarity around CRA credit to non-minority banks that partner with minority-designated banks.

The CRA change does not take geography into account, so banks like Liberty and M&F Bancorp would be able to partner with institutions from around the country, McDonald said. Although Liberty is regulated by the FDIC, which did not join the OCC inupdating the CRA, the bank could still benefit.

"We are looking forward to partnering with major banks," said McDonald. "With clarity, MDIs and majority-owned banks can set up a very unique partnership where it is a win-win for both sides, and we truly make the impact that is needed in the communities that we all serve."

The OCC's broader changes to the CRA have attracted criticism with consumer advocates expressing concern that the overhaul fails to address the needs of vulnerable communities. In June, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that would nullify the OCC's efforts to update the CRA. However, the fate of the resolution is unclear, and some see positives in the OCC's work with the CRA.

Rebeca Romero Rainey, president and CEO of trade group Independent Community Bankers of America, was especially encouraged by changes that will effectively double the amount of loans counted toward community development activities, she said.

"It will incentivize banks to work with and invest in minority-designated institutions," she wrote in an email.

These partnerships bring the possibility of increased loan growth for MDIs.

"Small banks have smaller legal lending limits, so partnering with a larger bank can allow you to participate in larger deals, which can result in more loan growth," Sills said. coldwell banker in avalon nj src="" alt="SNL Image">

Historically, smaller banks, such as the Black-owned banks currently in operation, have struggled to grow due to a lack of access to a customer base and marketing. Technology now becoming available to these banks opens the door for future growth.

"[With the increase in cooperation], some of the larger banks have shown a willingness to allow us access to their platforms and a willingness to allow us to join their ATM networks," Sills said. He believes that MDIs will see more of this cooperation in the coming months.

Technology advancements and the rise of mobile banking give customers the option to bank remotely without direct access to brick-and-mortar branches of Black-owned banks. McDonald, the Liberty Bank executive, said a problem lies in raising awareness about these services, but the current public conversation about race is helping to do just that.

"[In the past] we've lacked marketing dollars because we're not large organizations, but now with social media and other media platforms that are much cheaper and easier to put messaging out, it has been helpful," McDonald said. "The more we get the word out about the services that we have, the better we'll all be."

black owned banks in nc

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