News

May 26, 2021

LISC’s Black Economic Development Fund hits $250 million goal, makes first catalytic investments in Black-led banks, real estate developers

NEW YORK, May 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF), managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), has reached its $250 million goal for capital to invest in Black-led banks, anchor institutions, businesses, and real estate developers, and is now rolling out its first investments.

May 24, 2021

Citi Partners with Black-owned Banks to Help Close Wealth Gap

Citi’s work with Minority Depository Institutions like Optus Bank helps to expand banking and capital access to communities of color.

Mar 18, 2021

Optus Bank Helps Underserved SMBs and Communities Through Inclusive Credit and Lending Products

Just because someone has money doesn’t mean that they know how to use it to maximize their financial well being. Many people, regardless of wealth, don’t have the knowledge or skills necessary to manage their finances.

Mar 9, 2021

For the smallest businesses, an exclusive chance to line up for PPP loans

Over the last two weeks, the Small Business Administration has been limiting Paycheck Protection Program loan applications to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. The idea was to help the smallest businesses apply before the program expires at the end of the month. How has the process has been going?

Mar 8, 2021

Black-owned banks, online challengers compete for customers of color

As challenger banks seek to acquire more customers of color, Black-owned banks say the value they provide to traditionally underserved communities goes beyond what the online upstarts can offer. These more traditional, minority-owned banks "take a broader role in people's lives and a broader role in communities," Kevin Cohee, owner, chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank....

Feb 15, 2021

How Optus Bank is helping small businesses succeed

Norman Mills stood outside Royal Automotive Techs, the auto repair shop he co-owns in Columbia, South Carolina, while a photographer asked him to look at the camera and pose naturally. Instantly, Mills flashed a contagious smile.

Feb 15, 2021

A Conversation with Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank

Optus Bank was founded 100 years ago by visionary African American leaders who established Victory Savings and Loan to provide access to capital to individuals and business excluded from the banking system. Today, the bank is now called Optus Bank, but the focus remains the same. It is a community bank whose mission is to close the wealth gap created by systemic disparities in the financial industry.

Feb 12, 2021

SC’s only Black-owned bank receives multi-million equity investment from Wells Fargo

With the capital from Wells Fargo, Optus Bank can be more equipped to help local minority communities by offering more small business loans, mortgage loans, financial education and a larger deposit-taking capacity. This growth can help meet the bank’s mission to serve those previously unbanked, underbanked and historically underserved.

Feb 8, 2021

Wells Fargo Invests in Six Black-Owned Banks

Wells Fargo today announced equity investments in six African American Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as part of its March 10, 2020, pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks. As part of the capital investment, the banks will have 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.

Jan 15, 2021

Footnotes Episode 12: Dom Mjartan

Dominik Mjartan, CEO of Optus Bank, has a mission to create equal access to financial services and asset building opportunities for all. Growing a community doesn't start with helping someone pull themselves up by their bootstraps, it starts with giving them boots.