The recent #BankBlack social media campaign has brought black banking back into the national consciousness. The movement has inspired thousands of people across the country to transfer or deposit millions of dollars into black-owned banks for the first time. With this support, black-owned banks invest in urban communities, employ African Americans, and inspire black home ownership. For those considering making the change, here is a list of 13 banks to consider, including CDBA members United Bank, Industrial Bank, Harbor Bank of Maryland, Broadway Federal Bank, OneUnited Bank, Carver State Bank, First Independence Bank, GN Bank, and Metro Bank.
This month, South Carolina Community Bank officially changed its name to Optus Bank. The bank will also complete its conversion to a new core banking system and upgraded products and services on May 13th. The new brand is designed to highlight progress made by the bank, which was removed last March from the FDIC's troubled bank list. In 2018, the bank realized its first year of profitability and growth in 10 years, according to a news release from Optus. "We purposefully delayed the name change until the bank was healthy, profitable and able to deliver on our brand promise," said Optus president and CEO Dominik Mjartan. "The progress we made in 2018 positions us to fully live our new brand."
At first glance, a "video teller" installed in New Hebron may seem more impersonal than a traditional bank branch. However, for Peoples Bank this new bit of technology has allowed bankers to personally interact with a whole new set of customers. The machine, stationed in a location far from a physical branch, allows customers to live video chat with a real teller at another nearby Peoples Bank location. "We typically have two to three different employees who are serving that role as a live teller," said Ashley M. Jones, vice president of marketing. "The tellers on our end are enjoying the relationship that they have established...And for our customers, it is always nice to see a familiar face on the other end. It is comforting."