Reacting to the most recent wave of shootings of Black men by police officers, thousands of African-American consumers across America are responding by attempting to strengthen business owned by African Americans, including opening checking and savings accounts at Black-owned banks.
A grassroots effort being called a “Spend Movement” found the nation’s Black-owned banks receiving a tremendous number of requests to open accounts.
According to Michael Grant who serves as President of the National Bankers Association, the trade organization that represent America’s minority owned banks, “Thousands have been mobilized to protest with their spending power. Many African American consumers are linking the shootings with a sense of powerlessness, feeling undervalued and disrespected.”
Since Friday, July 8, literally thousands of checking and savings accounts have been opened at Black-owned banks. David Douse, Vice President and Senior Operations Officer of Carver State Bank, reported that Carver opened about three times as many deposit accounts during July 2016, compared to the number opened during July of last year. Carver is one of only two banks in Georgia owned by African Americans.
Grant, who traveled to Savannah during 2012, to serve as the keynote speaker for Carver’s 85th Anniversary Celebration, cautioned Black consumers to be mindful of the voluminous requests that the banks are receiving. He stated: “This is a very positive development for Black banks. They have always provided a disproportionate share of the small business loans and consumer loans to African Americans.
Ironically, it seems that we have gone full circle back to where we were before desegregation. The Black community is turning inward and seeking to provide security for itself. And few would argue against the notion that nearly every major social issue plaguing Black people in America can find its roots in economic deprivation.”
Founded in 1927, Carver State Bank is the oldest bank headquartered in the Savannah area and one of the older banks owned by African Americans in America. The National Bankers Association, which was also founded in 1927, is a consortium of African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and women-owned banks. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C.