Tag Archives: african american banks

Is African America’s Financial System Collapsing? The Sale of First State Bank Reduces Black Banks To 19


“First we need a savings bank. Let us put our moneys together; let us use our moneys; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves. Let us have a bank that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.” -Maggie L. Walker

The #BankBlack movement maybe moving, but quite simply it is not moving fast enough. After almost 100 years in business, First State Bank, the last African American owned bank in Virginia, has sold the majority of its ownership to Casey Crawford, CEO & Founder of Movement Mortgage (pictured above). The sell reduces the number of African American owned banks to 19 and represents an almost 20 percent decrease in the number of African American owned banks lost in the past two and half years.

It has been seen that with the absence of African American owned banks and credit unions comes much predatory behavior to the community. Banks like Wells Fargo and Citigroup have paid hundreds of millions for their behavior and payday loans are as rampant as ants at a picnic within the community. Since desegregation, African American institutions from neighborhoods to businesses and even schools that were inherent to the interest of African America have been in a struggle to stem the tide of a collapsing institutional fabric.

As recently as the early 1990s there were over 50 African American owned banks in the United States. First State Bank’s sale removes $32.9 million in assets from African America’s financial hold. Key states absent of an African American owned bank were already Florida, Mississippi, New York, and Ohio all of which have major African American populations. Now, add Virginia to that list which is a key state down the I-95 corridor and proximity to the nation’s capital. The loss of First State Bank truly echoes tears of frustration as Virginia was the home of Madam C.J. Walker’s St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, which she chartered in 1901 making her the first African American woman to charter and preside over a bank. Now, there are none in the state 116 years later. Is this what we call progress?

There has not been a new African American owned bank opened in seventeen years since Alamerica Bank was opened in Alabama. The #BankBlack movement is simply not enough if African American institutions like HBCUs, businesses, fraternal organizations, and the like are not willing to move their deposits into them. A harsh reality is that lending to the African American community is risky. We have lower median incomes, less assets, and more volatile working lives. The chance that we could become unemployed is a much higher probability than other Americans, therefore our banks are always at more risk for loan default from us. They need even more reserves than banks like JP Morgan and company who are being required to hold more because of their systemic importance. Our banks must look at themselves in the same light, they are systemic to our community’s financial health. If not, the candlelight of opportunity is going to quickly fade away into darkness when African America truly has no place to turn for its own financial well being.

First State Bank closing is more than just 100 years of financial stability to southeast Virginia’s African American community, it is another nail in the coffin of African American institutionalism which we so desperately need to revive.

 

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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.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS:

  • 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.

ALABAMA

ALAMERICA BANK

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: January 28, 2000

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $36 266 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 2.2%

COMMONWEALTH NATIONAL BANK

Location: Mobile, Alabama

Founded: February 19, 1976

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $55 863 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 1.1%

CALIFORNIA

BROADWAY FEDERAL BANK FSB

Location: Los Angeles, California

Founded: February 26, 1947

FDIC Region: San Francisco

Assets: $413 295 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 2.6%

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

INDUSTRIAL BANK

Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $388 526 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 0.1%

GEORGIA

CARVER STATE BANK

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Founded: January 1, 1927

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $39 739 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 5.8%

CITIZENS TRUST BANK

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $405 911 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 4.6%

ILLINOIS

ILLINOIS SERVICE FEDERAL SAVINGS & LOAN

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 01, 1934

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $105 403 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 4.1%

 

LOUISIANA

LIBERTY BANK & TRUST COMPANY

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $611 640 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 1.2%

MARYLAND

HARBOR BANK OF MARYLAND

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Founded: September 13, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $248 503 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 12.9%

MASSACHUSETTS

ONEUNITED BANK

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $646 088 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 0.4%

MICHIGAN

FIRST INDEPENDENCE BANK

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Founded: May 14, 1970

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $236 098 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 8.9%

NEW JERSEY

CITY NB OF NEW JERSEY

Location: Newark, New Jersey

Founded: June 11, 1973

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $223 040 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 10.8%

NORTH CAROLINA

MECHANICS & FARMERS BANK

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $309 977 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 4.0%

PENNSYLVANIA

UNITED BANK OF PHILADELPHIA

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Founded: March 23, 1992

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $55 969 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 5.1%

SOUTH CAROLINA

SOUTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY BANK

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Founded: March 26, 1999

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $51 323 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 3.2%

TENNESSEE

CITIZENS SAVINGS B&T COMPANY

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Founded: January 4, 1904

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $109 858 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 5.6%

TRI-STATE BANK OF MEMPHIS

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Founded: December 16, 1946

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $102 444 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 7.7%

TEXAS

UNITY NB OF HOUSTON

Location: Houston, Texas

Founded: August 01, 1985

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $84 206 000

Asset Change (2016): Up 1.1%

VIRGINIA

FIRST STATE BANK

Location: Danville, Virginia

Founded: September 08, 1919

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $32 884 000

Asset Change (2016): Down 12.6%

WISCONSIN

COLUMBIA SAVINGS & LOAN ASSOCIATION 

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


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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

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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


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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.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • 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:

Alabama

Arkansas

California

Connecticut

District of Columbia

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Mississippi

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Virginia

Virgin Islands

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin