I’ll share about the bank and how you can support them. But first, it’s important we understand the value of supporting these institutions. By definition, these financial institutions are at least 51% black-owned. But there aren’t many of them. In fact, of the 10,000+ banks in the United States, less than 20 are black-owned. Let’s do what we can to increase that number.
The more support you provide for these banks and the more we spread awareness about the benefits, the higher the chances of more of these institutions opening throughout the country.
Here are three ways black-owned banks benefit communities
- Financial literacy
As of 2016, the average wealth of white families in the United States was $171,000. Compare that to the average wealth of black families, which was $17,600 (McKinsey). To start closing that gap, there needs to large support and implementation of financial literacy programs in the black community. Banks are one of the best providers of financial literacy education and resources. They are trusted and typically respected as pillars of knowledge around the areas of money, investments, and financing. Banks can provide education in financial management, borrowing, and accessible resources.
This one is the most obvious. Banks employee people in a community and black-owned banks give encouragement for black people in the area to seek employment at their location. Most black-owned banks are committed to fair employment and raising the economic status of the community.
- Empowerment and change
Black-owned banks are a symbol and vehicle to fight against institutional, systemic racism. It’s not enough for individuals to fight for change, we also need strong institutions and organizations to represent the voices of the underserved.
These are just three of the outstanding benefits of black-owned banks. Now, let’s look at one of these institutions, highlight their services, and gain an understanding of their vision. Today’s featured institution is Harbor Bank of Maryland.
Harbor Bank of Maryland Vision and Mission
From Harbor Bank of Maryland:
“The retail nature of the Bank allows for diversification of depositors and borrowers so it is not dependent upon a single or a few customers. The bank is proud of being the first community bank in the country to have an Investment Subsidiary, Harbor Financial Services.
Harbor Bank’s Mortgage Department was the first in the State of Maryland to receive Fannie Mae funding under the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Program.”
Founded in September 1982, it’s worth noting that the bank opened it’s doors with $2.1 million in assets and as of December 2016, assets were $254 million. – Harbor Bank
They offer a suite of financial services to meet customers wherever they are on their financial journey.
Credit and debit cards
Loans (commercial real estate, personal, home improvement, automobile, and more)
25 West Fayette Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
410-528-1801 or 1-888-833-7920
Inner Harbor East Office
1000 Lancaster Street, Suite C
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
The Harbor Science & Technology Park East Branch
855 North Wolfs Street, Suite C
Baltimore, Maryland 21205
8530 Liberty Road
Randallstown, Maryland 21133
Research Park Office
800 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
5000 Park Heights Ave
Baltimore, Maryland 21215
Silver Spring Loan Production Office (Montgomery County)
1010 Wayne Ave Ste. 210
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
As always, do your due diligence and research before deciding on the banking options that are a good fit for you. But do take the time and energy to get involved however you can. If you choose to show support to a black-owned business or bank, know that you’re taking a step toward closing the massive wealth disparities nationwide.