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financial institution

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Two Black-Led Banks Just Merged to Form a $1 Billion Lender

Two Black-Led banks, City First in Washington, DC and Broadway Financial Corporation in Los Angeles, CA announced today that they have entered into a transformational Merger of Equals agreement to create the largest Black-Led bank in the nation with more than $1 billion in combined assets under management and approximately $850 million in total depository institution assets.

Combining the two institutions will increase their collective commercial lending capacity for investments in multifamily affordable housing, small businesses, and nonprofit development in financially underserved urban areas while creating a national platform for impact investors.

Brian E. Argrett, chief executive of City First, will be chief executive of the combined company, which will use City First as its banking brand but keep the publicly traded Broadway Financial Corporation as its bank holding company. Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw, Broadway’s chief executive, will be the chairman of the combined company.

black owned banks
Brian E. Argrett

Broadway and City First are Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and have a longstanding history of advancing economic and social equity through the provision of capital in low- to moderate-income communities. The combined institution will maintain its CDFI status, requiring it to deploy at least 60% of its lending into low- to moderate-income communities

Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw

Since the beginning of 2015, City First Bank and Broadway Federal Bank have collectively deployed over $1.1 billion combined in loans and investments in their communities

“Given the compounding factors of a global pandemic, unprecedented unemployment and social unrest resulting from centuries of inequities, the work of CDFIs has never been more urgent and necessary,” said Brian E. Argrett.“As part of this historic merger, we are demonstrating that thriving urban neighborhoods are viable markets that require a dedicated focus, long-term commitment and critical access to capital.”

“The new combined institution will strengthen our position and will help drive both sustainable economic growth and societal returns,” said Mr. Bradshaw. “We envision building stronger profitability and creating a multiplier effect of capital availability for our customers and for the communities we serve.”

The new institution will maintain bi-coastal headquarters and will continue to serve and expand in the banks’ current geographic areas, with a desire to scale to other high-potential urban markets.

Shares of Broadway Financial were up 17 percent on Wednesday afternoon. The transaction, which is expected to close early next year, will leave Broadway stockholders with 52.5 percent ownership of the new company and City First shareholders with 47.5 percent ownership.

Tony O. Lawson

Related: Black Banks That Are Still Operating In 2020


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Meet the man in charge of over $100M recently donated to Black-Owned Businesses and HBCU’s.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a non-profit financial institution that provides capital to projects in low-income, disadvantaged, and underserved communities at affordable rates.

LISC supports community development initiatives in 35 cities and across 2,100 rural counties in 44 states. In 2018, they reported grants, loans, and investments totaling US$1.5 billion, leveraging $4.4 billion in total development and supporting over 700 partners across America.

They recently received $60 million from Lowe’s, $40 million from MacKenzie Scott (ex-wife of Jezz Bezos), and $25 million from Netflix.

We caught up with their CEO, Maurice Jones, to discuss what his organization does and what they plan to do with these funds.

 

 

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Tony O. Lawson


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Netflix is investing $100 Million in Black Owned Financial Institutions

Netflix on Tuesday announced plans to deposit 2% of its cash, or an estimated $100 million, into Black owned financial institutions and community development organizations, which have a better track record of lending to minority borrowers than mainstream consumer banks.

“We believe bringing more capital to these communities can make a meaningful difference for the people and businesses in them, helping more families buy their first home or save for college, and more small businesses get started or grow.
According to the FDIC, banks that are Black-owned or led represent a mere one percent of America’s commercial banking assets,” Netflix said in a statement.

As the first step in this $100 million commitment, Netflix will be holding $35 million of our cash in two vehicles:

  • $25 million will be moved to a newly established fund called the Black Economic Development Initiative. It will be managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a non-profit with a track record of developing underinvested communities. They will invest the funds into Black financial institutions serving low and moderate-income communities and Black community development corporations in the U.S.
  • $10 million will go to Hope Credit Union in the form of a Transformational Deposit to fuel economic opportunity in underserved communities across the Deep South. Bill Bynum, CEO of HOPE, has spent the last three decades advancing economic mobility in distressed communities.

“This capital will fuel social mobility and opportunity in the low- and moderate-income communities these groups serve. We plan to redirect even more of our cash to Black-led and focused institutions as we grow, and we hope others will do the same.”

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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