Black-Owned Banks and Credit Unions

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

Updated on Monday, July 13, 2020

There are 22 Black-owned banks and 20 Black-owned credit unions in the U.S. across 23 states and the District of Columbia. Banking with a Black-owned bank can be a great way to find a community within your banking environment, as well as another way to offer support to the Black community.

Click on your state in the list below to find the Black-owned banks and credit unions near you, if any. Note that even if you don’t live in the same state as a certain institution, you still may be able to open an account there.

All institutions listed are federally insured up to legal limits by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), unless otherwise specified.

Black-owned banks and credit unions by state

Alamerica Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings account
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Birmingham

About the bank: Alamerica Bank was founded in 2000 by members of the Birmingham, Ala. community. While online banking is available for existing customers, you cannot open an account online.

Citizens Trust Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • 24-hour telephone banking
  • Mobile deposits

Locations:

  • Birmingham
  • Eutaw

About the bank: Headquartered in Atlanta, Citizens Trust Bank was founded in 1921 by a group of African-American men known as the Fervent Five, who had already seen major successes with their Standard Life Insurance Company. The bank was created to provide capital to Black business owners in Atlanta, as well as fellow community members.
Citizens Trust Bank also has five locations in Georgia.

Commonwealth National Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Money market checking account
  • Savings accounts, including a children’s savings account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • Mobile

About the bank: Commonwealth National Bank was founded in 1976 in Mobile, Ala., and it boasts that it’s the only bank operating in the city that is headquartered there, too. Commonwealth National Bank is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it is a dedicated institution that provides banking services and products to low-income communities.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Traditional, Roth, education and rollover IRAs

Locations:

  • Montgomery
  • Tuskegee

About the bank: Liberty Bank and Trust Company was founded in 1972 in New Orleans, where its headquarters remain. Through a series of acquisitions over the years, including Alabama’s First Tuskegee Bank, Liberty Bank expanded its presence into seven other states. It also has a branch each in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri.

Broadway Federal Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs
  • Mobile banking
  • MoneyPass ATM access

Locations:

  • Inglewood
  • Los Angeles (2)

About the bank: Broadway Federal Bank was originally founded in 1946 as Broadway Federal Savings and Loan Association, changing its name in 1995. It is based in Los Angeles and is a subsidiary of Broadway Financial Corporation.

OneUnited Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Suite of online deposit products, including checking, savings and certificate accounts
  • Extended ATM access through MoneyPass network

Locations:

  • Compton
  • Los Angeles

About the bank: Founded in 1982 as The Boston Bank of Commerce, OneUnited Bank is the largest Black-owned bank in America after a series of mergers and acquisitions over the years. OneUnited Bank is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it provides banking services and products to low-income communities. OneUnited Bank is headquartered in Boston, and has additional branches in Florida.

Howard University Employees Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Washington, D.C.

About the credit union: Howard University Employees Credit Union was chartered in 1935 to serve the employees of Howard University and their families. Today, its membership group largely remains the same, extending to salaried employees of the university and Howard University Hospital, as well as retirees of those two institutions and their family members. Membership is for life.

Industrial Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs
  • Access to STAR, Visa and AllPoint ATMs

Locations:

  • Washington, D.C (5)

About the bank: Industrial Bank was founded in 1934 in Washington, D.C. In addition to its five locations in the District of Columbia, Industrial Bank also has locations in Maryland, New Jersey and New York.

Axiom Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Bartow
  • Bradenton
  • Brandon
  • Gibsonton
  • Jacksonville (2)
  • Kissimmee
  • Lakeland
  • Leesburg
  • Ocala
  • Orlando (3)
  • Palmetto
  • Port Orange
  • Sanford
  • St. Cloud
  • Winter Garden
  • Winter Haven

About the bank: Axiom Bank was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Maitland, Fla. The majority of Axiom Bank’s branches are located inside Walmart Supercenters.

Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit, including Jumbo CDs
  • IRAs
  • Mobile banking with mobile deposit

Locations:

  • Tallahassee

About the credit union: Originally founded as Florida A&M College Employees Federal Credit Union in 1935, Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union got its current name in 1953. Based in Tallahassee, Fla., FAMU Credit Union offers membership to members of the Florida A&M University community, postal workers, members of church groups and other organizations and immediate family members of existing members.

OneUnited Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Online deposit products including checking and savings accounts and CDs
  • ATM access through MoneyPass network

Locations:

  • Miami

About the bank: OneUnited Bank was founded in 1982 in Boston, originally called The Boston Bank of Commerce. The bank is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it is dedicated to providing services and banking products to low-income communities.
In addition to its Miami location, OneUnited also has branches in Los Angeles and the Boston area.

1st Choice Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings account
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Atlanta (2)

About the credit union: 1st Choice Credit Union was chartered in 1946 as Hospital Authority Credit Union, since it was founded to serve the employees of Grady Hospital in Atlanta. The credit union got its current name in 1991. 1st Choice Credit Union is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), meaning it provides banking services and products to low-income communities.
1st Choice Credit Union opens up membership to employees, retirees and former employees of select partner groups, as well as eligible individuals’ immediate family and household members. In addition to its two Atlanta locations, 1st Choice Credit Union offers members access to select credit union branches within the CO-OP network in the Atlanta area.

Credit Union of Atlanta

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts, including senior checking
  • Savings accounts, in addition to special club accounts
  • Money market account
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Atlanta (2)

About the credit union: Credit Union of Atlanta was founded in 1928 and is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), meaning it serves low-income and in-need communities by providing banking resources and products. Credit Union of Atlanta membership is open to individuals in and around the Atlanta area through select churches, organizations, groups and companies. Family members of existing members are also eligible to join.

Carver State Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • Savannah (2)

About the bank: With its start as the Georgia Savings and Realty Corporation in 1927, Carver State Bank came into its current name in 1947.

Citizens Trust Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs
  • 24-hour telephone banking

Locations:

  • Atlanta (3)
  • East Point
  • South Fulton
  • Stonecrest
  • Stone Mountain

About the bank: Citizens Trust Bank was founded in 1921 to provide capital to Black business owners in Atlanta. The bank was a follow-up to the successes of the Standard Life Insurance Company, led by a group of African-American men known as the Fervent Five.
Citizens Trust Bank is headquartered in Atlanta and has more branches in the area. It also has branches in Alabama — in Birmingham and Eutaw.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Money market account

Locations:

  • Toccoa

About the credit union: To join Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Credit Union, you must be a member or employee of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. or a family member of an existing member.

Unity National Bank of Houston

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, including a minor savings account
  • Money market accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Atlanta

About the bank: Unity National Bank was founded in 1963 and chartered in 1985. It is based in Houston, and has an additional branch in Missouri City, Texas.

GN Bank

Personal banking products & features:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, including children’s savings accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Chicago (2)

About the bank: Previously Illinois Service Federal, GN Bank was founded in 1934 by 13 African-American men who wanted to extend financial services to communities of color. GN Bank has two offices in Chicago, but customers can also access their accounts for free via STAR network ATMs and online.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Forest Park

About the bank: Founded in 1972, Liberty Bank and Trust Company (often shortened to Liberty Bank) is based in New Orleans. It expanded over the years thanks to several acquisitions, including that of Covenant Bank of Illinois in Chicago. In addition to its branches in Louisiana and Illinois, the bank has branches in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri.

South Side Community Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings account

Locations:

  • Chicago

About the credit union: South Side Community Federal Credit Union was founded in 2003. Its main and only office is located in Chicago.
Individuals or businesses are eligible to join South Side Community FCU as long as they live, work, worship, attend school or belong to an organization in Chicago’s south side, defined by the credit union as from “22nd Street on the North to the city limits on the South and from the Lake on the East to Western Avenue on the West.”

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Kansas City

About the bank: Liberty Bank and Trust Company is based in New Orleans, where it was founded in 1972. With several acquisitions along the way, including that of Douglass Bank in Kansas City, Liberty Bank expanded into seven more states. Today, it also has branches in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Louisville

About the bank: Liberty Bank and Trust Company got its start in 1972 in New Orleans. Over the years, it has expanded into seven other states through acquisitions, including Louisville’s Metro Bank. Today, it also has branches in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Baton Rouge
  • New Orleans

About the bank: Liberty Bank and Trust Company got its start in New Orleans in 1972, where it is still headquartered. Now its presence stretches over a total of seven states in addition to Louisiana, including Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri, thanks to several acquisitions over the years.

Southern Teachers and Parents Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts, including student checking
  • Savings account
  • Traditional, Roth and educational IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Baton Rouge
  • Thibodaux

About the credit union: Southern Teachers and Parents Federal Credit Union was founded in 1937 and is based in Baton Rouge. Membership is open to all Southern University campuses; employees and church members of select Louisiana Parishes; employees of the City of Thibodaux and Lafourche Parish Juvenile Justice Facility; and family members of existing members.

Industrial Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Access to STAR, Visa and AllPoint ATMs

Locations:

  • Forestville
  • Oxon Hill

About the bank: Founded in 1934, Industrial Bank is headquartered in the District of Columbia and has five locations there. Industrial Bank also has locations in New Jersey and New York.

Harbor Bank of Maryland

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs available in fixed-rate, variable-rate or money market
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Baltimore (5)
  • Randallstown

About the bank: Harbor Bank of Maryland was founded in 1982 in Baltimore, where it is still based today.

OneUnited Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Online deposit accounts, including CDs and checking and savings accounts
  • MoneyPass ATM network access

Locations:

  • Boston (2)
  • Dorchester

About the bank: OneUnited Bank was founded in Boston in 1982 as The Boston Bank of Commerce, changing its name in 2002 after several mergers and acquisitions over the years. Today, it is the largest Black-owned bank in America and is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), providing typically out-of-reach banking services to low-income communities.
Still headquartered in Boston, OneUnited Bank also has branches in Florida and California.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Detroit

About the bank: Founded in 1972, Liberty Bank and Trust Company is headquartered in New Orleans. In addition to its branches in Louisiana and in Michigan — acquired through Home Federal Savings bank — Liberty Bank also has branches in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri.

First Independence Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts, including a senior checking account
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Clinton Township
  • Detroit (2)

About the bank: First Independence Bank was founded in 1970 in Detroit, where it is one of two banks that’s headquartered there. First Independence Bank is a designated Community Development Financial Institution, which means it provides banking services and products to individuals and businesses in low-income communities.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Jackson

About the bank: Liberty Bank and Trust Company was founded in 1972 in New Orleans, where it is still headquartered. In addition to its branches in Louisiana and in Mississippi, thanks to its acquisition of First American Bank, Liberty Bank also has branches in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Missouri.

Liberty Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Kansas City

About the bank: Liberty Bank and Trust Company got its start in New Orleans in 1972. It is still headquartered there, with more branches in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Mississippi, in addition to Missouri, where it expanded thanks to the acquisition of Douglass Bank.

St. Louis Community Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, in addition to club accounts and youth accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Benton Park
  • Florissant (2)
  • Ferguson
  • Jennings
  • Pagedale
  • Richmond Heights
  • St. John
  • St. Louis (6)
  • Sullivan
  • University City
  • Wellston

About the credit union: Founded in 1942, St. Louis Community Credit Union opens up membership to anyone who lives or works in St. Louis; folks in Franklin and St. Louis Counties in Missouri; and folks in Jersey, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties in Illinois. Family members of eligible individuals may also join.
St. Louis Community Credit Union is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it offers banking products and services to low-income individuals and businesses.

Industrial Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs
  • Access to STAR, Visa and AllPoint ATMs

Locations:

  • Newark (2)

About the bank: Industrial Bank got its start in Washington, D.C., in 1934. Today, it remains there now with five locations throughout the nation’s capital. In addition to its locations there and in New Jersey (thanks to its acquisition of City National Bank of New Jersey), you can also find Industrial Bank locations in Maryland and New York.

Carver Federal Savings Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, including club and youth accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • New York City (2)
  • Brooklyn (4)
  • Queens

About the bank: Carver Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1948 to serve historically underserved African-American businesses, individuals and institutions. Today, it is still headquartered in Harlem. Carver serves low-income communities, providing banking services and products, and is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Industrial Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Access to STAR, Visa and AllPoint ATMs

Locations:

  • New York City

About the bank: Industrial Bank is based in Washington, D.C., where it was founded back in 1934. In addition to its locations there and in New York, the bank also has branches in Maryland and New Jersey.

Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Savings accounts

Locations:

  • Long Island City, Queens

About the bank: Founded in 2004 and based in Long Island City, Queens, Urban Upbound focuses on improving the lives of those in its community, which includes its credit union arm, founded in 2009. In addition to banking, Urban Upbound offers employment services, financial counseling, tax preparation, income support services and more. It also helps provide fresh food, retail and mainstream financial services to public housing neighborhoods.

Mechanics and Farmers Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, including club and youth accounts
  • IRAs
  • Health savings account (HSA)
  • Mobile banking via M&F Bank Mobile App

Locations:

  • Charlotte
  • Durham (3)
  • Greensboro
  • Raleigh (2)
  • Winston-Salem

About the bank: Mechanics and Farmers Bank was founded in 1907 in Durham, N.C. It is still headquartered there today.

First Legacy Community Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings accounts, including club and children’s savings
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Free ATM access through the CO-OP and Covera networks

Locations:

  • Charlotte
  • Gastonia
  • Salisbury

About the credit union: First Legacy Community Credit Union was founded as School Workers Federal Credit Union in 1941 by African-American school employees in Charlotte, N.C. After merging with Rowan-Iredell Area Credit Union and Compact Credit Union in the 2000s, the credit union became First Legacy Community Credit Union. Today, after another merger, First Legacy is a division of Self-Help Credit Union.
First Legacy membership is open to those who live, work, worship or go to school in select North Carolina counties, as well as members and retirees of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority or AARP. Family members of eligible members may also join.

Greater Kinston Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings account
  • Money market account
  • Share term certificates (CDs)
  • Roth, traditional and SEP IRAs

Locations:

  • Kinston

About the credit union: Greater Kinston Credit Union was founded in 1952. Membership to Greater Kinston Credit Union is open to folks, including businesses, associations and societies who live, work, worship or attend school in select North Carolina counties.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Toledo (2)

About the credit union: Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union was founded in 1996. Membership is open to individuals and their immediate family members who live, work, worship, volunteer or are part of associations within the credit union’s service area. Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union also offers membership to those who participate in “programs to alleviate poverty or distress” and businesses within the credit union’s area.

Faith Community United Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings accounts, including club accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • ATM access via STAR, PLUS System and HONOR Networks

Locations:

  • Cleveland

About the credit union: Faith Community United Credit Union was founded in 1952. Its membership extends to anyone who lives, works or worships in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Faith Community United Credit Union members have chosen to retain private deposit insurance through American Share Insurance, rather than through the NCUA.

United Bank of Philadelphia

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts, including senior checking
  • Savings accounts, including club and youth savings
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Philadelphia (2)

About the bank: United Bank of Philadelphia was founded in 1992. It is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it serves low-income individuals and businesses by providing accessible banking products and services.

Hill District Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Reloadable debit cards

Locations:

  • Pittsburgh

About the credit union: Founded in 1970, Hill District Federal Credit Union opens up membership to Pittsburgh residents, workers, employees and volunteers of Community Action Agencies and organizations that provide economic assistance to people through purchasing the credit union’s shares. You may also join by becoming a member of an organization that provides economic assistance in the Pittsburgh area, as defined by the credit union.

Community Owned Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Savings account
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Charleston

About the credit union: Community Owned Federal Credit Union was founded in 1966 to provide financial services to the historically underserved, low-income residents of Johns Island and Charleston. Membership is available to individuals in the Charleston County area and their immediate family members.

Optus Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Columbia

About the bank: Formerly South Carolina Community Bank, Optus Bank was originally founded by a group of African-American leaders as Victory Savings Bank back in 1921. It is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it provides banking services to low-income individuals and businesses.

Brookland Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings account, in addition to specific club accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • ATM access via PULSE® and STARS® networks

Locations:

  • West Columbia

About the credit union: Founded in 1999, Brookland Federal Credit Union opens up membership to members of the Brookland Baptist Church and their immediate family members.

Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, including kids savings
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • Memphis
  • Nashville

About the bank: Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company got its start way back in 1904 as One Cent Savings Bank, the first minority-owned bank in Tennessee. Citizens Bank is based in Nashville and is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), meaning it provides banking services to low-income and underserved individuals and businesses.

Tri-State Bank of Memphis

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings account, in addition to youth and club savings
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • Memphis

About the bank: Founded in 1946, Tri-State Bank of Memphis is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), providing financial services and products to low-income individuals and businesses.

Faith Cooperative Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Savings accounts, including a club account
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Dallas

About the credit union: Faith Cooperative Credit Union was originally founded as St. John Dallas Federal Credit Union in 1959. Membership is open to members of both St. John Missionary Baptist Church and Friendship-West Baptist Church and their immediate family members.

Mount Olive Baptist Church Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Savings accounts, including Christmas club account

Locations:

  • Arlington

About the credit union: Mount Olive Baptist Church Federal Credit Union was established in 1997. Members of the Mount Olive Baptist Church, as well as their family members, are eligible for membership to the credit union.

Oak Cliff Christian Federal Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Savings accounts, including club savings accounts
  • Money market account
  • IRAs
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Dallas

About the credit union: Oak Cliff Christian Federal Credit Union was chartered in 2008. Membership is open to members, students or employees of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and its subsidiaries, as well as their family members.

Unity National Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts, including a minor savings account
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs
  • Mobile banking

Locations:

  • Houston
  • Missouri City

About the bank: Unity National Bank was founded in 1963 and chartered in 1985. In addition to its Texas locations, it also has a location in Atlanta.

Movement Bank

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings account
  • Money market account
  • Certificates of deposit

Locations:

  • Danville

About the bank: Movement Bank was founded in 1919 to serve folks in the community whom “the establishment rejected.” Known back then as the Savings Bank of Danville, it changed its name to First State Bank before landing on its current name.

Virginia State University Credit Union

Personal banking products:

  • Checking account
  • Savings accounts, including club accounts
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • South Chesterfield

About the credit union: Virginia State University Credit Union was founded in 1939. Its membership is open to Virginia State University alumni, contract employees, faculty, staff and students, as well as their immediate family members.

Columbia Savings and Loan Association

Personal banking products:

  • Certificates of deposit
  • IRAs

Locations:

  • Milwaukee

About the bank: Columbia Savings and Loan Association was founded in 1924 with the continued goal of serving Milwaukee’s growing minority population.

Banking resources for minorities

Unfortunately, not all banks or banking services and products are created equally, and often, minorities and low-income communities are shut out of traditional banking systems. However, both the government and individual institutions — like those listed above — have made great strides over the years to provide for these communities.

Minority Depository Institution (MDI)

If you’re interested in banking with a minority-led banking institution, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) keeps a running list of the Minority Depository Institution (MDIs) that it supervises. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) also maintains its own list of minority depository institutions, as well as a Minority Depository Institution Preservation Program, which works to preserve and promote minority-owned credit unions. Both lists can be great banking resources for minorities across the country.
The FDIC designates banks as Minority Depository Institutions when:

  • 51% or more of the bank’s voting stock is owned by minority individuals, or
  • A majority of the board of directors is made up of minority individuals and the community that the institution serves is predominantly minority

The FDIC identifies the following groups as minorities: Black or African American, Hispanic American, Asian or Pacific Islander American, Native American or Alaskan Native American and multi-racial American. It does not include women-owned or women-managed institutions here because they are not included in the statutory definition.
The NCUA defines a minority depository credit union as a federally-insured credit union where the percentage of potential minority members, current minority members and minority board members each exceed 50%. Here, a minority is defined as “Black American, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American,” per Section 308 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Another great banking resource for minorities is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which focuses on providing banking services to the communities around them, especially historically underserved low-income communities. They provide access to funding and capital through bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and other loans to individuals and businesses.
To earn the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI designation, an institution must meet several requirements, including:

  • Having a primary mission of promoting community development
  • Providing development services in conjunction with its financing activities
  • Maintaining accountability to its defined target market
  • Existing as a nongovernment entity and not under government control

CDFIs can then receive extra funding through the Treasury-run CDFI Fund, which helps these institutions expand their services.
You can find CDFIs in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Of the above Black-owned banks, 10 are CDFIs.

The history of Black-owned banks

The first Black-owned bank chartered in the United States was the Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain, which received its charter from the Virginia General Assembly in March 1888. However, it didn’t open for business until 1889. The first Black-owned bank to do business in the United States was Capital Savings Bank, which got its start in October 1888 in Washington, D.C.

“Since the end of slavery, Black leaders have recognized the importance of Black-owned banks,” said Kevin Cohee, CEO of OneUnited Bank. “One of the ways that Black America and its allies could obtain parity in society was to have a bank that could garner the economic spending power of Black America.”

Black-owned banks aimed to serve their communities and rechannel that spending power back into the community, as well as into society at large. Black bank leaders also maintained a broader view of banking that encompassed more than just deposits and loans. Additionally, Black-owned banks have been instrumental in political activism work, Cohee said, a legacy that OneUnited continues today.

Alabama Penny Savings Bank in Birmingham, Ala. Photo courtesy of the Birmingham, Ala. Public Library Archives, image m-6281 (early 20th century).

After these leaders, many other Black-owned banks soon followed. By 1906, there were 33 Black-owned banks in the country, including the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, notable for its founding by a Black woman, Maggie Lena Walker.

In 1906, the National Negro Business League (NNBL) established the National Negro Bankers’ Association (NNBA) to allow Black-owned banks to better support each other. The NNBL continues to this day, although now it is known as the National Bankers Association, including also Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American and women-owned banks.

How — and why — the number of Black-owned banks has changed over time

Over the years, the number of Black-owned banks has fluctuated with the times. During the Great Depression, Black banks took a larger hit compared with all other banks and only eight survived during that time. Only four new Black-owned banks were chartered between 1933 and 1960, but their numbers quickly skyrocketed with 40 new Black-owned institutions established between 1963 and the end of 1976, putting the total at around 50.

Despite drops in numbers through the 1980s and 2000s, there were about 50 Black-owned banks in 2001. However, by 2013 there were less than 30, and by the end of 2017, only 22 were left. Today, there are 22 Black-owned banks in America.

As for why Black-owned banks face higher levels of failure, Cohee points to community risks, regulatory failures and, at the root of it all, racism. Black-owned banks and other MDIs are more likely to serve largely minority communities, some with loans and assets going to over 90% minority customers. As Cohee explains, Black consumers are “the last hired and first fired,” which creates unstable loan and deposit forecasts and substantial risks to Black-owned banks. Meanwhile, mainstream banks often have single-digit percentages of minority customers, and don’t face the same risks.

Unfortunately, regulatory measures that were supposed to promote and support minority institutions and their consumers — specifically the Community Reinvestment Act (1977) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) — were not implemented in a way that actually promoted growth and development.

“You never got the helping hand from the government that institutions needed,” Cohee explained. “For so long, the regulatory environment has not recognized the significantly higher risk of minority and Black-owned banks and adjusted regulations accordingly, coupled with never being willing to do the extra work necessary to promote and support the development of the institutions.”

Todd McDonald, senior vice president at Liberty Bank and Trust Company, agreed. “We don’t get a pass,” he said. “We’re held to the same standards.”

Despite the known risks of running a Black-owned bank, both Cohee and McDonald stress that it’s important work that must be done. “We don’t do this because it’s easy, we do it because it’s hard,” Cohee said. McDonald shared a similar sentiment, noting that you “have to be passionate about this stuff,” to work in the Black-owned banking space.

How can I help Black-owned banks?

Black-owned banks don’t have to weather these risks alone though. “We need capital, investment into our banks, to expand our footprint,” McDonald said.

Consumers can help provide that capital and support by setting up their main checking account and direct deposit with a Black-owned bank. Additionally, consumers can do business with Black-owned companies and directly support the community.

As for the industry itself, McDonald encourages mainstream banks to talk to MDIs to figure out innovative ways to come together and better serve minority and low-income communities. “Be very intentional and figure out what a good partnership would look like,” he said. “It makes all the sense in the world for banks to come together.”

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Do you have a question?