New York City-based JPMorgan Chase announced earlier this year that it had donated more than $ 40 million to support minority depository institutions through a multi-billion dollar
Protests following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020 are consistently cited in media reports as the main motivator for initiatives like this one. Kevin Cohee, chief executive of MDI OneUnited Bank, which has two corporate offices in Baldwin Hills / Crenshaw and Boston, said progress is due in equal parts to societal and technological advances.
He cited artificial intelligence as a prime example of the role technology plays as a great balancer in the financial sector.
“It takes us beyond traditional methods of determining credit,” Cohee said. âHistorically, the factors in credit decisions have been very narrow, very limited. We didn’t have the technology to address thousands, if not tens of thousands, of different factors that are changing the way we do business. “
For “the new Black Wall Street,” Cohee said the Internet has provided minority lenders and borrowers with a similar venue as Tulsa, Oklahoma, the original.
“Why would Tulsa of all places be where you’d found a place called Black Wall Street?” Cohee said. âYou’d think places like New York, Philadelphia, or a big south city like Atlanta would be where you’d find that source of entrepreneurship and ingenuity. But in Tulsa this community called Greenwood developed, and it’s the only place I know where actual reparations have been made, “said Cohee, whose great-great-grandfather Charles Cohee Jr. was part of the group that successfully lobbyed Congress in 1894 for redress for freedmen in Oklahoma.
Tom Nida, executive vice president of CityFirstBroadway, with two headquarters in downtown and Washington, DC, said MDIs, which are focused on community development, have addressed the intergenerational nature of the wealth gap.
“Many African Americans do not own a home and cannot benefit from appreciating home values, building equity that could fund education, retirement, or starting a small business,” said Nida.
As real estate prices continue to explode, the dream of owning a home without additional help has only become even more impossible. This is where MDIs can play a crucial role, he added.
“We cannot address such problems alone, but we can forge private-sector and private-public partnerships to harness the resources available,” said Nida.
Here are examples of how such partnerships and efforts are taking shape in regional and national banks in the form of various outreach initiatives and offers to customers.
In honor of Cohee’s ancestors and other early pioneers in minority finance – and to celebrate the creation of a “new Black Wall Street” – OneUnited recently launched the Greenwood Visa Debit Card, a no-fee option for low- to middle-income customers.
With a physical presence in California, Massachusetts, and Florida, the company’s operations are becoming increasingly digital, Cohee said.
“It is unique to be able to offer this type of service nationwide – it is the only black-owned company with the capacity to serve hundreds of millions of people across the country,” Cohee said.
In February, Bank launched Empowering Change, a program supported by Google in partnership with MDIs and CDFIs to provide economic opportunities for underserved communities. The program aims to enable MDIs and CDFIs to offer their clients new investment products, strengthen their technological capabilities and generate new income through fund sales.
In addition to helping MDIs in the area, Citi will partner with the city to provide college savings accounts for public school students, while also working with the National Urban League to offer toll-free options across the national network.
Citi said its Action for Racial Equity plan offers a comprehensive approach to increasing access to banking in colored communities and increasing black home ownership and investment in black-owned companies.
Bank of America
Bank of America
The company represents the Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corp. and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce continue to provide capital investments and grants to support resources, microcredit, and technical assistance for local black businesses.
Last year, the bank launched a jobs initiative that provides $ 25 million to 21 higher education institutions, including traditionally black colleges and universities, Hispanic institutions, and community colleges, to support professional skills and placement.
In 2020, Comerica directed $ 10 million to MDIs, including $ 2.5 million each to downtown Broadway Federal Bank and the Commercial Bank of California of Irvine
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