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The Top 7 Impactful Black-Owned Banks in America

The Top 7 Impactful Black-Owned Banks in America 


In the early 19th century, Black people in the U.S. were denied credit due to discriminatory practices like redlining, which made it very difficult for them to build wealth. In 1888, Rev. William Washington Browne founded the True Reformers Bank, the first Black-owned bank in the U.S., to address this inequality and provide economic opportunities for African Americans.

Since then, other Black-owned banks have emerged, typically located in majority-Black communities and owned by African Americans who hold at least 51% of the bank’s stock. These banks provide financial services and economic opportunity to the communities they serve, and play a critical role in promoting financial equity and justice.

These Black-owned banks typically focus on lending to Black homeowners, small businesses and nonprofit organizations like churches. And though these banks focus predominantly on Black communities, non-Black individuals and companies are welcome to become customers. Opening an account with them as an ally can be a great way to support its mission of closing the wealth gap in America.

Below are the Top 7 Impactful Black-Owned Banks in America

OneUnited Bank

Established 50 years ago, OneUnited Bank is perhaps the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S. and the first to offer online banking. The bank was founded through the merger of three Black-owned banks in Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles. Along with offering traditional banking services, OneUnited Bank also focuses on educating customers about financial literacy and empowerment. Its programs cover a wide range of topics, from budgeting and fraud prevention to entrepreneurship.

City First Bank

City First Bank, formerly known as Broadway Federal Savings and Loan Association, is one of the most largest Black-owned financial institution in the U.S. Its transformation began in April 2022, when it emerged from receivership and rebranded itself as City First Bank. The bank was founded in 1946 by a group of Black professionals who wanted to make a difference by providing conventional loans to returning Black World War II veterans and addressing long-standing inequality in the financial system. Today, City First Bank continues this legacy of advocating for change through its commitment to investing in underserved communities.

Carver State Bank

Carver State Bank was founded in 1927 as Georgia Savings and Realty Corp. and later renamed Carver Savings Bank. In 1962, it became a full-service commercial bank and was renamed Carver State Bank. The bank is named after George Washington Carver, a famous African American agricultural scientist and educator. Like other Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Carver State Bank is dedicated to providing banking services to economically underserved communities. As a CDFI, the bank is eligible for tax credits that support economic development in low-income areas.

Carver Federal Savings Bank

Founded in 1948 to serve New York City’s Black communities, Carver Federal Savings Bank has a rich history of supporting its customers’ financial well-being. Beyond its Harlem headquarters, the bank is committed to making a difference through innovative programs like its partnership with the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development (SFE&PD). This partnership helps close the wealth gap by providing financial education to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and their students. By expanding access to financial literacy, Carver Federal Savings Bank is helping to level the playing field for African Americans.

Commonwealth National Bank

Commonwealth National Bank is a one-of-a-kind bank headquartered in Mobile, Ala. Since its founding in 1976, the bank has focused on serving communities that have historically been denied access to financial services. Today, the bank continues to be a champion of change, hosting virtual events like “lunch and learn” series on topics like creating and maintaining Black wealth. With more than $54 million in assets, Commonwealth National Bank is a vital resource for the Mobile community.

First Independence Bank

First Independence Bank stands out as the only Black-owned bank headquartered in Michigan. Founded in 1970, the bank has a mission to serve minority and underserved communities. As part of this mission, First Independence Bank recently launched an eight-part workshop series focused on financial literacy for Detroit-area youth and young adults. With $287 million in assets, the bank is a key player in the local community, making a difference through its financial services and educational initiatives.

Liberty Bank & Trust Co.

Liberty Bank & Trust Co. has deep roots in New Orleans, where it was founded in 1972 as a groundbreaking multi-racial institution with both Black and white shareholders. Since then, the bank has expanded its footprint across Louisiana, Alabama, and beyond, opening branches in communities like Baton Rouge, Montgomery, and Tuskegee. In 2015, the bank grew even further with the acquisition of First Tuskegee Bank, bringing its total number of branches to 1

In conclusion, Black-owned banks play a vital role in empowering African American communities to thrive. By making deposits in these institutions, you can help to increase their ability to lend to Black-owned businesses, which in turn creates economic opportunity, employment, and educational advancement within these communities. Moreover, this increased investment can foster further growth and innovation, leading to an overall improved quality of life for African Americans. With your support, Black-owned banks can truly achieve their vision of economic justice and equality.

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