Tag Archives: african american banks

HBCU Money’s 2017 African American Owned Bank Directory

(Founders of Merchants & Farmers Bank in Durham, North Carolina)

All banks are listed by state. In order to be listed in our directory the bank must have at least 51 percent African American ownership. You can click on the bank name to go directly to their website.


  • Key losses were the closure of North Milwaukee State Bank and Seaway Bank & Trust.
  • AAOBs are in 17 states and territories. Key states absent are Florida, Mississippi, New York, and Ohio.
  • Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, each have two AAOBs.
  • 2016 Median AAOBs Aseets: $107 631 000 ($107 551 000)*
  • 2016 Average AAOBs Assets: $209 073 000 ($210 297 000)*
  • African American bank assets saw a 9.6 percent decrease or net loss of approximately $445.1 million in assets in 2016, primarily from the closure of the two aforementioned banks.
  • AAOBs control 0.03 percent of America’s $15.7 trillion Bank Owned Assets.
  • AAOBs control 2 percent of FDIC designated Minority-Owned Bank Assets, which is down from 2.3 percent in 2016.
  • There has not been an AAOB started in 16 years.
  • Only 8 of 2016’s 20 AAOBs saw increases in assets.
  • For comparison, Asian American Owned Banks have approximately $46.1 billion in assets spread over 68 institutions. They control 6.0 percent of Asian America’s buying power.

There are 20 African American owned banks (AAOBs) with assets totaling approximately $4.2 billion in assets or approximately 0.38 percent of African America’s $1.1 trillion in buying power. A 12 percent decrease from 2016.



Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: January 28, 2000

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $36 266 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 2.2%


Location: Mobile, Alabama

Founded: February 19, 1976

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $55 863 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 1.1%



Location: Los Angeles, California

Founded: February 26, 1947

FDIC Region: San Francisco

Assets: $413 295 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 2.6%



Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $388 526 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 0.1%



Location: Savannah, Georgia

Founded: January 1, 1927

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $39 739 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 5.8%


Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $405 911 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 4.6%



Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 01, 1934

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $105 403 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 4.1%




Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $611 640 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 1.2%



Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Founded: September 13, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $248 503 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 12.9%



Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $646 088 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 0.4%



Location: Detroit, Michigan

Founded: May 14, 1970

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $236 098 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 8.9%



Location: Newark, New Jersey

Founded: June 11, 1973

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $223 040 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 10.8%



Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $309 977 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 4.0%



Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Founded: March 23, 1992

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $55 969 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 5.1%



Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Founded: March 26, 1999

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $51 323 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 3.2%



Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Founded: January 4, 1904

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $109 858 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 5.6%


Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Founded: December 16, 1946

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $102 444 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 7.7%



Location: Houston, Texas

Founded: August 01, 1985

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $84 206 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 1.1%



Location: Danville, Virginia

Founded: September 08, 1919

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $32 884 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 12.6%



Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Founded: January 1, 1924

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $24 424 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 3.1%


African American Banks Reduced To 21 – North Milwaukee State Bank Closes


The state of Wisconsin has lost one of its two African American owned banks. North Milwaukee State Bank, which was almost three times the size of Wisconsin’s other African American owned bank, Columbia Savings & Loan Association, officially had its doors shutdown on March 11, 2016. It is one of only two American bank failures in 2016 thus far.

Per the FDIC, “To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Raleigh, North Carolina, to assume all of the deposits of North Milwaukee State Bank.” First-Citizens Bank & Trust is controlled by a bank holding company, First Citizens Bancshares, which is publicly traded on the NASDAQ. Its primary shareholders are the Holding family and Fidelity Investments.

For the entire FDIC official release click here.

The closure takes $67.1 million in assets and $61.5 million in deposits off the books of African American owned banks as a collective.

XULA FCU Growing, Virginia State University FCU In Crisis, And 2016 HBCU-Based Credit Unions Overall – Stagnant

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. – Martin Luther


2016’s HBCU-based credit unions are stuck in neutral. Eleven HBCU-based credit unions assets are unchanged from 2015 and still stand at $87 million. Membership saw a decline from just over 17 000 in 2015 to 16 546 in 2016. For comparison, Navy Federal Credit Union, America’s largest credit union has $73.3 billion in assets and 5.9 million members.

  1. Southern Teachers & Parents (LA) – $28.3 million ($28 million)
  2. Florida A&M University (FL) – $20.1 million ($19.6 million)
  3. Howard University Employees (DC) – $10.8 million ($11.3 million)
  4. Virginia State University (VA) – $8.6 million ($9.6 million)
  5. Prairie View (TX) – $4.8 million ($4.8 million)
  6. Savastate Teachers (GA) – $3.7 million ($3.6 million)
  7. Councill (AL) – $3.4 million ($3.4 million)
  8. Xavier University (LA) – $2.6 million ($2.4 million)
  9. Arkansas A&M College (AR) – $2.4 million ($2.3 million)
  10. Tennessee State University (TN) – $1.6 million ($1.4 million)
  11. Shaw University (NC) – $0.6 million ($0.5 million)

HBCU-based credit unions while having almost $90 million in assets are too top heavy as a collective. The top four HBCU-based credit unions have almost 80 percent of the group’s combined assets. Unfortunately, the fourth member of the group, Virginia State University Federal Credit Union, is dragging down the collective. Over the past two years VSU FCU has seen its assets decline almost 20 percent. VSU FCU is in the process of a transition in leadership after the long-term CEO Peggy Custis stepped down after a multi-decade run. In her place, Katrina Peerman, is serving as interim CEO while the board looks to make a long-term decision. That long-term decision, whether it remains Ms. Peerman or an outside choice could have a rippling effect that impacts the group as a whole. Can HBCU-based credit unions come into the 21st century? It remains to be seen whether they possess the leadership or aggressive vision required to facilitate

HBCU Money’s 2015 review and analysis of HBCU-based credit unions remain unchanged:

Unfortunately, there also seems to be no urgency by these credit unions to do the things necessary to increase their membership and assets. Students entering into HBCUs today may be more financially illiterate than a generation ago, but they have more complex financial needs thanks in large part to student loans playing such a large role into today’s higher education finance. Not to mention the reduced role that social security will play in their long-term retirement planning. An issue that should be prompting more HBCU-based credit unions to find ways to help students reduce student loan debt and start retirement planning while in college. A hard task to give this group given the limited financial products and services they offer leave HBCU-based credit unions minute opportunity to serve the needs of students, faculty, campus organizations, or even the HBCUs themselves. These limited products and services are largely an issue of lacking scale. Instead of a credit union with at least $87 million in assets, the median is $3.6 million amongst eleven with declining assets and membership. Instead of students, faculty, and institutions who travel more today than ever to conferences, tournaments, etc. being able to access their money at one of the eleven branches or through mobile app banking along the way, they are limited to just one insular branch with technology that at best reminds you of AOL dial-up. Holding onto students is even more difficult with most returning to their hometowns or nearest major city upon graduation and only returning to the campus at most once a year for homecoming. Incentive to keep banking beyond graduation? None.

Lauryn Hill has a wonderful song called the Ex-Factor that I think often describes African America institutional strategic behavior and with HBCU-based credit unions it seems no different. “It could all be so simple, but you’d rather make it hard. Loving you is like a battle and we both end up with scars.” I still believe with the right vision, an HBCU credit union could rival the Navy Federal Credit Union and give African America a place of financial safety instead of the scars we constantly end up with from predatory financial services that come into communities because we are left with such meager choices from our own financial institutions. It really all could be so simple, but more than likely we will continue to make it hard.

HBCU Money’s 2016 African American Owned Credit Union Directory


All credit unions are listed by state and in alphabetical order. In order to be listed in our directory the credit union must have an African American designation. Click on the state to view the full list available. If the credit union has a website you can click on the name and go directly to their website.

There are 318 African American designated credit unions with assets totaling approximately $5.8 billion in assets or approximately 0.51 percent of African America’s $1.1 trillion in buying power. African American credit unions have a total of 863 670 members.


  • African American credit unions comprise 49.6 percent of Minority Serving credit unions and 5.2 percent of all US credit unions
  • The total assets for all US minority credit unions is $36.4 billion, with AACUs controlling 16.2 percent of those assets. Total combined assets for all US credit unions are $1.2 trillion, with AACUs controlling 0.48 percent of total American credit union assets.
  • AACUs average assets: $18.4 million ($17.9 million)
  • AACUs average number of members 2 725 (2 688)
  • AACUs median assets: $1.4 million ($1.4 million)
  • AACUs median members: 505 (491)
  • For comparison, Asian American credit unions have approximately 362 000 members and $4.6 billion in assets. Average and median assets of $83.1 million and $30.0 million, respectively.

African American Owned Credit Unions by State:





District of Columbia












New Jersey

New York

North Carolina



South Carolina




Virgin Islands


West Virginia




Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, And Others Plead Guilty – African American Banking Opportunity?

It isn’t the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that counts. – Woody Hayes


I have to say if I was CEO at an African American owned bank or credit union right now I would be salivating at the news where two of America’s largest banks plead guilty to felony charges for manipulating currencies and rigging interest rates. Citibank and J.P. Morgan Chase control a combined $2.3 trillion in deposits worldwide. For perspective, total bank deposits in the United States total $9.3 trillion. This provides an opportunity to give a new narrative to African American communities about the value of banking with someone they know and trust. A bank/credit union owned by and for their community. Although not charged, I would also lump Bank of America and Wells Fargo into my attack, which given their recent settlements for predatory lending towards African American communities would not be a reach at all.

NPR reports, “Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the value of dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.” The banks charged will be paying a $5.6 billion in fines combined, with Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase paying $1.26 billion and $892 million, respectively. Despite the heavy fines, no one will face actual criminal chargers. Bear in mind for perspective that Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase had 2014 net income of $7.3 billion and $21.8 billion, respectively. In other words, Citigroup will be paying 17.3 percent of its net income (profits) and J.P. Morgan Chase will pay 4.1 percent of its net income (profits). It is not clear however if they have to pay the fine at once or have been put on a payment plan.

By now, we have all heard the number – $1.1 trillion. That is the buying power of African America, but what we rarely hear is that less than 1 percent of that buying power sits in African American banks and credit unions (AABCUs). This continuously leaves African America in dire straits needing access to capital, but putting non-AABCUs like Citigroup, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America in a position to take our money and then use it as a predatory weapon against our communities. One of a bank’s objectives is move the risk from those that own it onto other groups. The aforementioned banks not owned by us are doing their job and doing it well. We just keep aiding them by giving them a larger deposit base which in turn gets loaned back to us at predatory rates so that the owners can secure loans at discounted rates. Our communities pay more so that their communities can pay less. In other words, we deposit $1.00 in the bank and they deposit $1.00 in the bank. The bank now has $2.00 it can lend out. They will borrow $0.50 at 4 percent and our community borrows $0.25 (but needs $0.50) at 8 percent. But why have AABCUs not take advantage of this telling this narrative?

African American banks and credit unions have as a collective not done a good job of expounding their benefits to the communities they are in. Not nearly enough community outreach or customer acquisition investment has been done by African American owned financial institutions. The question if its the chicken or the egg in this case remains in flux. Do you spend limited resources to market to get deposits or do you wait for deposits then market to get more customers? Whichever approach is taken, it must be done with resolute commitment to increasing the AABCUs deposit hold within our communities.  It baffles me the number of AABCUs who are not even on social media. Are you kidding me? It is FREE. If AABCUs created internships for HBCU marketing and communication majors each semester they could have a millennial team of four or five students rotating every three to four months. And while many do not like them, I would hire club promoters and street teams to get the word out. Incentivize the community to become your word of mouth advertising in exchange for perks. In an interview I did with Donna Shuler, co-founder of Answer Title in Washington D.C. and former bank CEO, she said, “More community outreach starting when students are still in school. Banks and agents should use more images of African Americans in their marketing.” One thing that continues to plague African American organizations and firms is the copycat complex that ignores cultural differences between the way our community consumes products and services and the way other communities do. We do this despite Nielsen, an American global information and measurement company, having an entire site dedicated to the African American consumer trends and behavior.

We also have to stop being afraid to use what in hip-hop is known as “beef” with our counterparts. This is a competition after all. My marketing campaign would go something like this – “You know who has NOT  been fined for predatory practices against African Americans – (insert AABCU name).” Or I would have a list of the non-AABCUs who have been fined for their practices against our community and call it a public service announcement. People love a good guy, bad guy scenario. A mentor always said to me once to use what you have. Whatever it is that draws people to you – use it. In AABCUs case, it is using what the others have done to our community to your advantage of getting those deposits to switch institutions. It is also being more engaged in community activities where you can have the captive attention to get financial literacy and marketing message out.

African Americans continue to lose ground in wealth accumulation, our communities and neighborhoods continue to be at risk of gentrification because of lack of development and access to capital, and these are all a reflection of a weak banking system. We know what happened to Harlem and what is happening to places like Third Ward in Houston  among other places. This latest behavior by the non-AABCUs is just a long list of a wedge that AABCUs should be using to distinguish themselves among their core consumer demographic. They have given more than an inch to exploit and it is time we take the mile.