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National Black Bank Foundation To Refinance a $35 Million Loan For The Atlanta Hawks

The nonprofit National Black Bank Foundation and its investment unit, the Black Bank Fund, were formed in 2020 to uplift Black-owned banks and the communities they serve.

On Wednesday, the  National Black Bank Foundation announced that it has organized a syndication team of 11 banks that will refinance a $35 million construction loan for the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.

National Black Bank Foundation

According to the team, this is the first time a professional sports franchise has had a “significant loan” underwritten exclusively by Black banks.

Georgia-based Carver State Bank served as the syndicate’s lead arranger. Other banks involved were Carver Federal Savings Bank, Citizens Savings Bank, Citizens Trust Bank, Commonwealth National Bank, Industrial Bank, Liberty Bank & Trust, M&F Bank and Optus Bank.

“By selecting an all-Black bank syndicate to provide this financing, the Hawks are strengthening all of our banks. What we earn from this loan strengthens our collective ability to provide even more loans and financial services to Black small businesses and consumers, and we are able to show our ability to pull off a large, sophisticated loan transaction. Tony and his team are real allies in the movement for racial equity,” said Robert E. James, II, President, Carver Development & Chairman-Elect, National Bankers Association.

National Black Bank Foundation
The National Black Bank Foundation general counsel Ashley Bell

“Because Black-owned banks are so starved for capital, they’ve previously not been able to compete with major commercial banks or scale to meet the unique needs of borrowers of color, who are rejected for credit at twice the national rate,” said National Black Bank Foundation general counsel Ashley Bell.

Through this agreement, the Hawks are using their strong credit rating to “bolster the capital cushion for Black banks so that they can better serve their traditional customer base,” the team said in a news release. They’re also “trying to demonstrate that Black banks can compete with money center banks for commercial loans.”

 

Tony O. Lawson


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