Locally owned Carver State Bank is taking action to support its customers, employees, and community as the nation responds to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Carver, which is one of only 21 Black-owned banks in the United States, and the only bank in south Georgia certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has also taken a leadership role in making sure that issues of importance to minority banks and their communities are considered as the U.S. Government ponders a major economic stimulus to combat the rapidly expanding economic slowdown.
According to Carver’s President, Robert E. James, “at Carver State Bank, we have long believed that money matters, but people really count. That has never been truer than today.
Carver remains strong and will continue to serve our customers through this unprecedented crisis.”
On the local level, Caver Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John L. Turner, has led the staff in implementing several measures for the well-being of the bank’s customers and employees, including the following:
Service at Bank Offices – To reduce community spread of the virus and keep customers and staff as safe as possible, Carver is using its drive-thru lanes to serve its customers at both locations. The bank lobbies are closed, except by appointment, until further notice. Customers are able to make payments or access their deposit accounts using the drive-thru lanes, ATMs, or night deposit boxes.
Expanded ATM Network – Carver customers now have access to the MoneyPass® ATM network. This enhancement gives Carver customers access to thousands of feefree ATMS. They can use their Carver debit cards to withdraw funds from their accounts at any Money- Pass ATM throughout the country, without a service charge. Visit www.moneypass.com to search for MoneyPass locations.
Online Banking – Carver is encouraging customers to use online banking. Customers can check account balances, pay bills, send payments to friends and family, and more, all from the comfort of their own homes.
On the national level, Carver has been vocal with Congressional leadership and the Department of the Treasury as they deliberate sweeping measures designed to strengthen the economy. Carver’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Robert E. James, II, also serves as Legislative Committee Chair of the National Bankers Association (NBA), and in that position, has been working with other minority banks and CDFI banks across the country. James, II noted that “as a CDFI and Black-owned bank, it is our mission and duty to advocate for the community. We want to make sure that the most vulnerable communities receive their fair share of any stimulus. Regular people, churches, and small businesses will desperately need help, so Congress should not just be looking to bail out major corporations.”
Specifically, James, II has been working with the NBA Chairman Kenneth Kelly, who leads First Independence Bank of Detroit, to push Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Georgia representatives like Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, as well as Congressmen Buddy Carter and Tom Graves, to consider a wide range of relief measures, including: Overdraft protection for working class bank customers; Loan deferments and guarantees for churches, nonprofits, and small businesses; and Capital infusion for minority banks.
Carver President Robert E. James stated that Carver will continue to lead locally and nationally. “We will stand strong for our customers and be a voice for our community,” he said.