Bank of Anguilla
For 110 years, The Bank of Anguilla has served Mississippi's rural Sharkey and Issaquena counties. The economies of the two counties are primarily agricultural, benefiting from rich farming soil along the Mississippi River. As the only bank operating in Sharkey and Issaquena, The Bank of Anguilla plays a vital role in providing financial services to these rural, low-income communities. Bank employees and the Board proudly serve in various civic organizations and leadership roles.
The number of community development banks is rising at a time when the ranks of other financial institutions are shrinking. The special-purpose banks — a subset of community development financial institutions — serve low- and moderate-income communities. By becoming CDFIs, banks — along with credit unions and other types of lenders — can apply for certain funding from the Treasury Department and other agencies.
First Southwest Bank and Bank of Anguilla discuss the reasons why they became CDFI certified banks and Jeannine Jacokes of the Community Development Bankers Association talks about the benefits of CDFI certification for the community banking industry.
Mississippi has more CDFIs per capita than any other state. Its financial ecosystem is a unique place, where bankers and residents are coming to see one another as allies despite a difficult history. CDFI's are leading the way. "If we don't help our community, the community’s going to die" says Huey Townsend, President and CEO of Guaranty Bank & Trust. Powered by nearly $2.5 million in awards from the CDFI Fund, his institution has emerged as a leader in providing financial services to the poor, along with a handful of others including Bank of Anguilla in the region. Guaranty Bank & Trust was among the top providers of home loans in the 13 Delta counties where poverty is a persistent problem. Local CDFIs together made fully a third of housing loans here, while the large national banks that dominate home lending in most areas made only a handful.