City First Bank is pleased to announce that Sonja Sanders Wells has been promoted from Senior Vice President, Interim Chief Lending Officer to Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer (CLO), leading the commercial banking group. Sonja Wells is the only African American woman to hold a CLO position at a bank in Washington, DC. In fine tradition, Ms. Wells follows in the trailblazing footsteps of City First’s selection of its first CLO, Ms. Kim Saunders in 1998, alongside the founding President & CEO, Ms. Debbi Baptist Hurd -- rare Black women executives positioned in the C-suite echelon of the banking industry.
When people come to live in the U.S. from other countries, they often don't have an American credit history, identification or other typical requirements of the account-opening or loan process. But community banks are finding ways to serve this growing population while mitigating credit and compliance hurdles. Spring Bank and Sunrise Banks are featured in this article.
After four decades in the banking industry, Jane Henderson plans to retire this year as President and CEO of Virginia Community Capital (VCC). As the organization's founding executive director, Henderson has led VCC since its inception in 2006. Her banking career includes 29 years spent in community development finance. VCC, a community development financial institution (CDFI), was born out of a $15 million investment and a vision for an institution that served Virginia's most under-resourced communities.
Southern Bancorp, Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank, today announced it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire DeWitt First Bankshares Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Arkansas County Bank, a $185 million asset bank with two branches in Arkansas County (DeWitt and Stuttgart) and one in Sevier County (Lockesburg).
Duke Energy announced today it has deposited $5 million into Optus Bank, a Black-owned bank based in South Carolina, furthering the company's support for diverse and minority-owned businesses, individuals and low income communities. The transaction was completed at the end of 2020. This marks the largest deposit Duke Energy has made with a Black-owned bank in the U.S. and the company expects to evaluate additional similar opportunities in the future. And, this historic relationship expands Optus Bank's depositors to include the utility sector.