The NFL is kicking off a plan to bolster Black- and nonwhite-owned banks by borrowing $78 million from 16 such institutions.
The deal will generate Tier 1 capital for the banks. Fees and interest garnered from the loan will strengthen the banks’ lending power by millions of dollars, CNBC reported Thursday.
The NFL is establishing relationships with these diverse financial institutions “to provide new economic opportunities typically only available to larger financial institutions and to increase the diversity of its banking partners,” it said in a statement.
“Additionally, the new business opportunities will help fund growth, increase investment back into the communities they serve and create broader visibility for the institutions themselves,” the football league said.
Bank of America and The National Black Bank Foundation helped the NFL pick institutions. BofA helped the NFL structure a three-year loan facility.
“The NFL giving us this chance to participate, it enhances our ability to deliver on our mission to serve underserved, underestimated high-potential customers and communities,” Dominik Mjartan, CEO of Optus Bank — one of the 16 institutions tapped by the NFL — told CNBC.
Since 2000, the number of Black-owned banks in America has taken a tumble. Black-owned banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. numbered 47 in 2002, but by last year, that figure fell to 16, accounting for less than 0.03% of assets at all FDIC-insured financial institutions.
Alongside the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., NBBF co-founder Ashley Bell, who during the Trump administration worked as the policy adviser on entrepreneurship and innovation within the White House Office of American Innovation, announced plans to purchase Holladay Bank and Trust in Utah under the name of Redemption Holding Co., which would boost the number of Black-owned banks to 48 upon regulatory approval.
"Minority-focused banks, and especially Black-owned or operated banks, are trusted community partners that are more important now than ever given the challenges we are seeing across the country in banking,” Bell said, upon announcement of the NFL’s loan. "The NFL's decision to look for solutions beyond Wall Street and to the centers of hope along Main Street and MLK Jr. Drives will move the needle as others follow their lead.”
Black-owned banks “make the American dream possible for all Americans by deploying resources that uniquely address the financial realities of communities that have been systematically excluded, overcharged and undercapitalized for hundreds of years,” Bell said.
The 16 banks tapped by the NFL are:
- Adelphia Bank of Columbus, Ohio
- Agility Bank of Houston
- Asian Bank of Philadelphia
- Central Bank of Kansas City
- Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Co. of Nashville, Tennessee
- Citizens Trust Bank of Atlanta
- City First Bank of Washington D.C.
- First Independence Bank of Detroit
- FWBank of Chicago
- Industrial Bank of Washington D.C.
- Mechanics and Farmers Bank of Durham, North Carolina
- Optus Bank of Columbia, South Carolina
- Ponce Bank of New York City
- Southern Bancorp Bank of Arkadelphia, Arkansas
- Texas National Bank of Mercedes, Texas, and
- Unity National Bank of Houston.