Wells Fargo invests in six Black-owned banks for Black History Month

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Wells Fargo announced equity investments in six African American Minority Depository Institutions as part of its $50 million commitment last year to support economic growth in Black communities.

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The banks are Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles, Calif.; Carver Federal Savings Bank, in New York, N.Y.; Citizens Savings Bank & Trust in Nashville, Tenn.; Commonwealth National Bank in Mobile, Ala.; M&F Bank in Durham, N.C.; and Optus Bank in Columbia, S.C.

Wells Fargo said that each bank will get access to "a dedicated Wells Fargo relationship team that will provide financial, technological, and product development expertise in order to help each institution grow and benefit their local community."

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The bank also noted that "communities of color have been disproportionately impacted" by the coronavirus pandemic.

“February is Black History Month, and we are proud to announce these investments at this time because they reflect our dedication to helping African American communities, many of which continue to fight the destructive economic impact of the pandemic," Kleber Santos, Wells Fargo's head of Diverse Segments, Representation & Inclusion, said Monday.

"Wells Fargo wants to help drive stabilization and recovery by using our financial resources and our ability to act as a partner in order to generate better outcomes."

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The $50 million investment makes Wells Fargo the latest institution to take a stake in Black-owned banks.

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Bank of America announced $50 million in equity investments for Minority Depository Institutions last September as part of its $1 billion commitment to advance racial equality.

Citi Bank also announced "$100 million to support Minority Depository Institutions’ growth and revenue generation" in September.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced $50 million worth of investments in "Black and Latinx-led" banks in October.

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed the importance of Black-owned banks at a virtual roundtable with Black business leaders Friday.

"These [Community Development Financial Institutions] and [Minority Depository Institutions] are so important because they serve communities that the wider financial system traditionally hasn’t served well, especially communities of color," Yellen said Friday. "They give loans to people to buy homes and start businesses."

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