FDIC Selling Controlling Stake in Black-owned Bank
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans to auction off a controlling stake in Birmingham, Alabama-based Alamerica Bank on Wednesday, a move that could result in Alamerica passing out of minority ownership. While a preliminary bidder's list included several large Black-owned banks, it also included some non-minority bidders. Founded in January 2000, the $15.4 million-asset Alamerica is the smallest of the 17 remaining Black-owned banks in the United States. According to William Michael Cunningham, CEO at Creative Investment Research and an authority on Black-owned banks, the FDIC-owned shares were used as security for a $4 million loan from Silverton Bank. They passed into the FDIC's possession following Atlanta-based Silverton's failure in May 2009. The FDIC “certainly has the right to do this,” Cunningham said Tuesday, but he called it troubling that Alamerica might wind up outside the minority banking sector as a result of the auction. “If Alamerica is no longer a Black-owned bank, that could ruin things from a social and cultural perspective, especially in light of the supposed support for Black banks that followed the death of George Floyd,” Cunningham said.