SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo & Company recently announced equity investments in five African-American Minority Depository Institutions, or MDIs, as part of its March 10, 2020, pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks.
As part of the equity capital investment, Wells Fargo is also offering access to a dedicated relationship team that can work with each MDI on financial, technological, and product development strategies to help each institution strengthen and grow.
“The country’s MDIs are vital to minority communities, but over the last two decades, many have declined or have closed,” said William Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo. “The capital investment we are announcing is important, but it’s our relationship approach that will make the difference in their futures. We want to be a partner to these important institutions and, in turn, have a positive effect on local communities.”
The Wells Fargo announcement includes investments in the following institutions:
- Carver State Bank in Savannah, Ga.
- Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, Ga.
- First Independence Bank in Detroit.
- Liberty Bank in New Orleans, La.
- Unity National Bank in Houston.
These investments follow Wells Fargo’s Feb. 8, 2021, announcement regarding its investments in six African American MDIs and takes the Company’s total investment to 11 MDIs to date. In addition, Wells Fargo will be making its nationwide ATM network available for customers of these 11 MDIs to use without incurring fees.
“Guided by our founding principles to promote financial stability and equality for all communities, Citizens Trust Bank is proud to partner with Wells Fargo in expanding these efforts,” said Cynthia Day, president/CEO of Citizens Trust Bank. “The partnership enhances our ability to deploy more capital in our markets and beyond. We appreciate Wells Fargo for its commitment and alliance in providing solutions to the very important challenge of addressing inequalities that disproportionately impact communities of color.”
Wells Fargo’s financial commitments are in the form of critical equity capital, which is foundational to the MDIs’ ability to expand lending and deposit-taking capacity in their communities.
The investments, primarily non-voting positions, are designed to enable the banks to maintain their MDI status. Wells Fargo is also supporting each MDI’s development through a banking relationship in the form of a single touchpoint coverage model that will help them access Wells Fargo’s expertise and pursue strategic priorities like entering new markets, expanding locations, designing new products, and hiring staff to support loan growth.
External partners that assisted Wells Fargo include the National Bankers Association and Sullivan & Cromwell. External advisory committee members are Kim D. Saunders, president and CEO of NBA; Aron Betru, managing director of the Center for Financial Markets at Milken Institute; and John W. Rogers Jr., chairman, co-CEO, and CIO of Ariel Investments.