Buying from Black-owned businesses helps support the Black community. However, for most African Americans, a history of black-owned banks has a more personal benefit: It helps them get better, non-biased financial services.
The largest Black-owned bank in the US is OneUnited Bank, with $658 million in assets. OneUnited is also the first digital Black-owned bank, allowing African Americans from across the US to access its services online.
Read on to learn more about OneUnited and other major Black-owned banks in the US. Today, these banks are referred to as Minority depository Institutions (MDI) and are addressing the racial wealth gap challenge.
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An Overview of OneUnited, the Nation’s Largest Black-Owned Bank
OneUnited Bank Asset Size
At the end of 2022, OneUnited had assets worth $658 million and deposits worth $373 million.
The bank has grown by merging with and acquiring banks with similar objectives. In the year 2000, the Boston Bank of Commerce (with an asset base of $257 million) merged with the Founders National Bank of Los Angeles (with an asset base of $107 million) to form OneUnited Bank.
Over the years, OneUnited has also acquired The Family Savings Bank of Los Angeles and the People’s National Bank of Commerce based in Miami.
OneUnited Bank Location
OneUnited Bank has six physical offices in the following areas:
- Florida, Miami Branch
- Massachusets, Corporate Headquarters, non-cash branch, Boston
- Massachusets, Roxbury branch, Washington Street
- Massachusets, Groove Hall, WallStreet
- Califonia, Corporate Office and Crenshaw Branch, Los Angeles
- Califonia, Compton Branch
However, it’s a digital bank, and citizens across America can digitally access its services.
The bank is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, which is also where it’s chartered.
The nation’s largest surcharge-free ATMs are only in Massachusetts, Florida, and California. Similarly, it’s the largest FDIC-Insured bank and the designated community development financial institution (CDFI) serving low-moderate income earners. This means their clients can do early direct deposits.
Who Owns OneUnited Bank?
Kevin Cohee owns and operates OneUnited Bank. He holds a controlling interest in the bank and has served as its chairman and CEO since he was elected by shareholders in 1996. On the same note, Teri Williams is the bank’s president.
Mr. Cohee is an African American and a native of Kansas City, Missouri. Since taking the bank’s leadership, he has transformed it from a struggling bank to a winner of the US Treasury’s highest accolade — The Bank Enterprise Award.
OneUnited Bank Reviews
OneUnited Bank enjoys a favorable reputation, with Smart Asset giving it a rating of 4.3 out of 5. The bank’s selling points include:
- Low fees. Unlike most banks in the US, OneUnited doesn’t charge monthly fees for its checking account. It also charges zero fees for ATM withdrawals.
- A highly-rated mobile app. Users give the OneUnited Bank mobile app an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 compared to the national average of 3.5.
- Sound financial health. Aside from having a low probability of failure, OneUnited Bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
One of OneUnited’s failings is that it lacks an online banking portal and a live chat to access customer service.
The bank has a free ATM network of over 100,000 access points. You’ll have easy access while shopping using your debit card at your neighborhood retailers.
The YouTube video below features a customer’s experience with the nation’s largest black-owned bank, One-United Bank:
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Other Large Black-Owned Banks In The US
If you want to bank with a Black-owned bank, you can’t go wrong with OneUnited. However, there are other options.
Liberty Bank and Trust Company (Smart Asset Rating – 4 out of 5)
Liberty Bank and Trust Company is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has branches in nine states. The bank was founded in 1972 and has grown to become one of the largest Black-owned financial institutions in the US.
The bank has high-interest rates on savings accounts, sound financial health, affordable monthly fees, and satisfactory customer service.
Citizens Trust Bank (Smart Asset Rating – 3.5 out of 5)
Citizens Trust Bank has been operational since 1921 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. While it has brick-and-mortar branches, it offers digital banking services. That said, its online banking services aren’t as competitive as its in-person services.
The bank’s interest rates on savings accounts are lower than the national average, and it charges monthly fees on checking accounts.
Carver Federal Savings Bank (Smart Asset Rating – 3.4 out of 5)
Carver is headquartered in New York and has seven brick-and-mortar branches, all in New York City. Founded in 1948, it’s one of the oldest and largest Black-owned banks in the US.
With a nationwide network of 80,000 ATMs and a good digital banking platform, Carver is a good banking option. However, it has low-interest rates.
The Mechanics and Farmers (M&F) Bank
Founded in 1907, the M&F is one of the oldest and largest Black-owned banks in the US. It’s headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. In addition to their eight physical branches in North Carolina, they offer digital banking.
One of Mechanics and Farmers Bank’s greatest selling points is its free and high-yield checking account. The bank also enjoys sound financial health.
How Many Black-Owned Banks Are in America?
In 2018, there were 23 Black-owned banks in America out of 5,400 banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
If you can’t find a Black-owned bank located conveniently near you, you can use online Black-owned banks. They come with advantages such as higher yields on savings and lower account maintenance fees.
Online Black-owned banks you can access from any location in the US include:
- MoCaFi. MoCaFi is a fully digital, Black-owned bank targeting the 50 million unbanked and underbanked Americans.
- OneUnited Bank.
- Greenwood. Greenwood was founded in 2020 and is a Black-owned financial institution that offers banking services through a partnership with Coastal Community Bank.
- Broadway Federal Bank
- Unity National Bank offers an empowerment network to agencies like NAACP, United Negro College Fund among others.
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What Bank Is Owned By a Black Woman?
First Independence Bank is operated by Kiko Davis, who is a majority shareholder as a trustee of the Donald Davis Living Trust. The bank is one of the largest Black-owned banks in the US, and Ms Davis is the only female, Black owner of a US bank.
What Was the First Black-Owned Bank?
Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company, originally the One Cent Savings Bank, was founded in 1904 and is the first Black-owned bank in the US.
While a number of Black-owned banks have gone out of business over the years, Citizens Savings Bank has braved both the Great Depression and the 2008 financial crisis and now manages about $100 million in assets.
Is Chime a Black-Owned Bank?
Chime has grown fairly popular for its fee-free mobile banking services, a model that resembles the models of Black-owned digital banks like MoCaFi.
However, Chime is not Black-owned. Moreover, it’s not a bank, and it had to pay $200,000 as a fine and agree to stop marketing itself as a bank. Chime is a financial services company that provides banking services in partnership with The Bankcorp Bank and Stride Bank.
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