banking black

Inside South Florida's Only Black-Owned Bank

Members of OneUnited Bank told NBC 6 that banking Black is about more than money, but about community, history and building a bridge to the future. 

NBC Universal, Inc.

In the face of racial tensions and unrest, more Black Americans are turning to financial institutions that understand them. While banking Black isn’t new in its entirety, it's becoming the new norm for Black people. 

OneUnited Bank is the largest Black-owned bank in the country. The bank launched a program Feb. 2 called One Transaction that takes a look at the six transactions that they suggest Black Americans should take on to begin their journey toward generational wealth. 

“One United’s goal is to foster financial independence for a people who have risen despite enormous hurdles," said Terri Williams, the bank's president and co-founder who is also a Florida native.

Building generational wealth has always been a hard feat for the average Black person due to the wealth gap. The difference between Black and white income in America, according to Pew Research Center, was 61% of the median Black household income to the white household in 2018. 

These statistics, along with countless other disparities, are pushing more Black Americans to bank Black.

"The civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd was a catalyst toward banking Black," said nationally known financial expert Lynette Khalfani-Cox.

This is happening despite what Cox refers to as economic violence existing long before the killing of Floyd. 

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of the Black Wall Street Massacre, where Tulsa, Oklahoma, and several Black-owned businesses were destroyed by white rioters.

With over 5,000 banks in the United States, there are only about two dozen Black-owned banks, according to CNBC. The racial unrest that has been brought to light in the country has caused OneUnited’s customers to quadruple, according to Williams, due to more Black people wanting to do business where they feel at home. 

“When you can relate to the people you are doing business with, that means volumes to me -- I am just happy to have this bank in the neighborhood," said Mrs. Wendell Neil, a OneUnited customer.

Neil has been a loyal customer since the bank opened its doors in Miami in the early 90’s. 

Members of OneUnited Bank told NBC 6 that banking Black is about more than money, but about community, history and building a bridge to the future. 

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