Black-Owned Banks and Credit Unions: Where to Find Them

Black-owned banks and credit unions provide a crucial service to Black communities.

Spencer TierneyFebruary 1, 2021
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Black-owned banks tend to serve African Americans more than other banks do. Their mission includes closing the wealth gap in America.

The typical white family has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family, according to a 2019 Federal Reserve survey. This gap exists in part because of past U.S. policies as well as banking industry practices, which historically excluded Black Americans from access to credit and banking services.[1]

Black-owned banks — and their not-for-profit equivalent, credit unions — are intentional about helping the Black community. Most are community development financial institutions, which provide financial services in underserved and low- to moderate-income areas. (Learn more about CDFIs.) These banks connect those who have been denied accounts in the past with banking services[2] and lend to Black-owned small businesses and Black homeowners, who are both denied loans more often than white borrowers.[3]

Frequently asked questions

A Black-owned bank is a for-profit banking institution in which the majority of stockholders or members of the board of directors are African American. The bank tends to serve a mostly Black community, but this doesn’t mean non-Black people or firms can’t join. In fact, some companies, such as Netflix, have begun depositing funds in Black-owned banks as a way to support Black communities.

A Black-owned credit union is a not-for-profit banking institution in which a majority of its current members, its board of directors and the community it serves are African American. Membership can be limited to a certain city or group, such as members of a predominantly Black church or employees at a historically Black college or university.

Yes, joining a Black-owned bank can be a solid way to support its mission. If you’re interested in a Black-owned credit union, check its membership requirements; like other credit unions, some may restrict by geography or other factors.

"We’re making Black America a better place, and by doing so, making all America a better place,” says Kevin Cohee, CEO and chairman of OneUnited Bank, one of the largest Black-owned banks in the U.S.

List of Black-owned banks and credit unions

Here are some of the Black-owned financial institutions, and two online-only platforms that partner with banks, currently operating in the U.S.

Financial Institution

Headquarters

Birmingham, AL

Mobile, AL

Los Angeles, CA

Washington, DC (branches also in MD, NJ, NY)

Washington, DC

Tallahassee, FL

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Savannah, GA

Toccoa, GA

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Baton Rouge, LA

New Orleans, LA (branches also in AL, IL, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS)

Baltimore, MD

Boston, MA (branches also in CA, FL)

Detroit, MI

Jackson, MS (branches also in AL, AR, LA, TN)

St. Louis, MO (branches also in IL)

New York, NY

Long Island City, NY

Durham, NC

Kinston, NC

Toledo, OH

Oklahoma City, OK

Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Charleston, SC

Columbia, SC

West Columbia, SC

Memphis, TN

Nashville, TN

Arlington, TX

Houston, TX (branches also in GA)

Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX

South Chesterfield, VA

Milwaukee, WI

Greenwood (coming soon in 2021)

Online only

Online only

Don’t see your Black-owned credit union here? Let us know.

Note: This list is not exhaustive, due in part to the different processes for banks and credit unions to be recognized as Black-owned. For banks, Black-owned means the institution is owned by stockholders, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation tracks eligible banks. All 20 Black-owned banks are represented as of the most recent list, the third quarter of 2020.

For credit unions, members are the owners, and the National Credit Union Administration relies on credit unions to self-report as Black-owned. Not all credit unions from NCUA’s list could be verified as Black-owned.[4]

» Read more about why Black-owned banks matter

Article sources and further context

1. Black Americans historically have been blocked from government programs that boosted wealth for white Americans. For example, the Federal Housing Administration refused to provide government-backed mortgages to Black Americans for decades. This encouraged the mostly white-owned banks to perpetuate a racist policy of redlining, or denying or limiting financial services based on race or ethnicity. Lending practices have shifted over time, but racial discrimination remains. As recently as the past decade, some of the biggest U.S. banks settled lawsuits for charging Black borrowers higher mortgage rates than white borrowers with similar credit profiles.

2. About 14% of Black households don’t have bank accounts, compared with 2.5% of white households, according to a 2019 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

3. Black-owned small businesses applied for bank financing slightly more than other firms, but less than 47% of these applications got full funding, compared with 75% of firms with white owners, according to a 2017 Federal Reserve survey of small business credit. About 16% of Black borrowers are denied mortgages, compared with 6% of white borrowers, according to the 2019 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report on the mortgage market.

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