Renewed Focus on Race Triggers Surge of Interest in Community-Based Lenders

Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and the heightened attention on race have thrown new light on a longstanding source of economic inequality: Black communities have less access to credit than white ones. To address that gap, Washington and Wall Street are turning to a small network of lenders set up precisely to address that disparity. Community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, are community-based banks, credit unions and investment funds that lend to home buyers, small businesses and others in rural, impoverished and minority communities. Among CDFIs featured is CDBA member Optus Bank in Columbia, South Carolina.