In April 2021 two Black bankers closed the merger of their companies to create the largest Black-Owned bank in the nation with more than $1 billion combined assets.Brian E. Argrett, CEO of City First Bank in Washington, D.C. and Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw, CEO of the publicly traded Broadway Financial Corp (BYFC), in Los Angeles, have merged to create City First Broadway-The largest minority depository institution (MDI) in the United States.
There are 143 Minority Depository Institutions in the United States, according to the government’s latest data, but to no surprise just 20 are Black led. A recent study by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that such minority-led institutions outperformed traditional banks in originating mortgages and federally backed small-business loans to borrowers in low- and moderate-income census tracts.
Why are minority banks so important? They often function as a channel to poverty-stricken neighborhoods, providing low cost loans and access to capital that wouldn’t typically be available. The two organizations have shared a common mission, values and vision for providing capital to underserved communities.
“We have all seen the compounding impacts from centuries of racial inequities in this country-Social unrest, higher unemployment, poverty. Economic injustice is at the root of racial injustice.” Argrett tells the Grio. “That’s why the work of MDI’s and community deposit financial institutions are more important than ever-they are squarely focused on these inequities like getting capital to those who truly need it.” He added.
City First Broadway will specialize in three areas of financing: multifamily affordable housing, small businesses and nonprofit development. “We need to scale up our impact,” Mr. Argrett said in an interview. “Having a larger capital base is important so we can direct more resources into underserved communities.” This is about creating a national platform where we can scale our solutions to help with these problems impacting these communities.
The company plans to maintain headquarters in Southern California and Washington.For more information on this historic merger visit City First Broadway.