Before and after independence, African Americans were discriminated against in banking and enjoying financial freedoms. White-led banks would deny them opportunities such as loans and other financial benefits. However, since the inception of African American banks, African Americans have had better banking experiences and opportunities.

Read on to understand how these have come to be.

Freedom to Enjoy Diversified Programs

African American banks offer diversified programs for their customers. You can get financial assistance for educational, health, and development needs. You only need to speak to your banking manager to figure out how they’d help you achieve your goals.

As a customer, you always know you have a reliable financial partner at all levels of development. Many African Americans have benefited from these programs through loans and outreach programs designed to help them. Most of these banks will only require you to tell them your vision, how you intend to achieve your goals, and have sufficient collateral for loans.

These unions have continued to grow under the leadership of bankers such as Kevin Cohee, who is the CEO of OneUnited bank.

Help the Needy

African American banks are more likely to help poor people and black entrepreneurs. A 2011 study by the U.S. Treasury Department found that African American banks were less likely to foreclose on poor homeowners than other banks, even though the loans they made had higher default rates; African American bank customers were also more likely to have their credit card debt forgiven and receive lower interest rates than non-black clients at other institutions.

African American banks have a greater commitment to lending money to black entrepreneurs—they provide twice as many small business loans as Caucasian lenders do. According to a report from The Center for Community Economic Development (CCED), white-owned businesses account for over 90% of all minority small businesses that fail within their first five years of operation.

This is largely due to inadequate capitalization and lack of support from outside sources like government agencies or community organizations; most minorities aren’t able to secure funds through traditional channels because they don’t meet certain requirements such as having collateral or sufficient personal income levels required by banks. However, the tides have changed with black-owned banks as more minorities get access to the financial help they need.


African American banks are often involved in giving back to their communities. They help to create jobs, build schools and hospitals, provide homeless shelters, and offer other services that make life easier for everyone in the community.