Carver State Bank President Robert E. James was one of six (6) presidents of minority-owned banks to meet with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. The other presidents were Paul Hyon of MoreBank, Philadelphia, PA; Kim D. Saunders of Mechanics and Farmers Bank, Durham, NC; Ignacio Urrabazo, Jr. of Commerce Bank, Laredo, TX; James Young of Citizen Trust Bank, Atlanta, GA; and B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr. of Industrial Bank, Washington, DC. The group was joined by several key Treasury Department officials, including Donna J. Gambrell, Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, as well as Michael Grant, President of the National Bankers Association, the trade organization that represents the minority-owned banks of America.
Grant coordinated the meeting so that a representative group of minority bankers could share with the Secretary ideas to help the Obama Administration continue to unfreeze credit markets; strengthen the capital positions of the nation’s community banks; and encourage businesses to create more jobs, especially in the country’s most economically distressed communities.
Grant told the Secretary that the banks that are members of the National Bankers Association are the lifeblood of many of the country’s inner cities that were devastated by the recent recession. “We continue to provide capital and liquidity to support lending, job creation, and other types of economic development in the communities we proudly serve,” Grant said.
The bankers who attended the meeting put forth several innovative ways that the Treasury can strengthen the minorityowned banks and help stimulate the flow of credit within inner-city neighborhoods.
James said that he was extremely pleased that the Secretary was aware of the importance of our institutions to the economic uplift of our communities, and that we have provided high- quality credit and noncredit service in some of the most challenging environments. “Secretary Geithner and the members of his staff were anxious to hear our suggestions on how we could work with the Treasury Department to provide more credit to individuals, small businesses and other institutions,” he continued.
“I accepted the invitation to attend the meeting when I learned that there would be a small, but representative group of minority bankers in attendance,” James remarked. “There was ample time for each of us to share our experiences and ideas.”
Carver State Bank is a state-chartered, FDICinsured, commercial bank. Established in 1927, Carver is the oldest commercial bank headquartered in Savannah, and one of the oldest African-Americanowned banks in America. James has been President of Carver since 1971. He holds the distinction of being the African- American with the longest tenure of service as a bank president in the nation. James served as Chairman of the National Bankers Association during 1978. The bankers elected him to a second term as Chairman in 1990.
In 1999, Carver State Bank was certified by the United States Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution. During 2003, Carver Financial Corporation, a one-bank holding company that owns Carver State Bank, was also certified by the Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution.
The bank’s main office is located at 701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, and the bank operates a full service branch at the corner of Eisenhower Drive and Skidaway Road.