Sep 9, 2020

Bank of America allocates $300 million of $1 billion equity pledge

As part of a four-year, $1 billion pledge announced in June to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, Bank of America has announced commitments totaling $300 million. The commitments include support for initiatives across ninety-one U.S. and global markets in four areas: $25 million for jobs initiatives in Black and Latinx communities, $25 million in support of community outreach and initiatives, $50 million for direct equity investments to minority depository institutions (MDIs), and $200 million in proprietary equity investments in minority entrepreneurs, businesses, and funds.

Sep 8, 2020

Bank of America Directs $300 Million of Its $1 Billion, Four-Year Commitment to Advance Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity

On June 2, Bank of America made a $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. Today, the company is announcing its initial progress by directing one-third, or $300 million, of its $1 billion commitment to four key areas across 91 U.S. markets and globally: $25 million in support of jobs initiatives in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities, $25 million in support of community outreach and initiatives, $50 million in direct equity investments to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and $200 million of proprietary equity investments in minority entrepreneurs, businesses and funds.

Aug 26, 2020

Black-owned Columbia bank receives $50 million from PayPal to reach minority companies

The economic downturn brought on by the novel coronavirus has shined a light on the financial disparities between large and small companies, particularly those owned by minority populations. But with the help of a tech giant, one Columbia bank plans to shrink the gap. Optus Bank, a Black-owned bank that caters to minority- and women-owned businesses, is the first bank to receive $50 million in deposits from virtual payment system operator PayPal.

Aug 26, 2020

Optus Bank receives $50 million in deposit funding from PayPal

Columbia-headquartered Optus Bank is the first beneficiary of PayPal Holdings Inc.’s $530 million commitment to support Black and minority-owned business and communities. Optus received $50 million in deposit funding from the online payments system operator, and CEO Dominik Mjartan said the bank wasted no time putting the investment to use.

Aug 26, 2020

Why PayPal just deposited $50 million in a small South Carolina bank

PayPal has just deposited $50 million in an account at Optus Bank, a minority-owned institution in Columbia, S.C., that has $155 million in assets. As unlikely as this pairing may sound, it happened relatively quickly. In June, PayPal announced a $530 million commitment to support minority communities and businesses in the U.S., especially those hardest hit by the pandemic, to help address economic inequality.

Aug 18, 2020

Renewed Focus on Race Triggers Surge of Interest in Community-Based Lenders

The coronavirus pandemic and the heightened attention on race have thrown new light on a longstanding source of economic inequality: Black communities have less access to credit than white ones. To address that gap, Washington and Wall Street are turning to a small network of lenders set up precisely to address that disparity.

Jul 10, 2020

Taking Full Advantage of Small Business Pandemic Assistance

The small business community has been severely impacted by the pandemic. The financial assistance from the various levels of government has certainly helped but our next guest says that his experience working with small business owners through all of this has highlighted the importance of having a strong and supportive network already in place.

Apr 28, 2020

Small SC banks keep coronavirus aid focused on small businesses

The Great Recession left Optus Bank reeling, overexposed with loans to the industries and people hardest hit. This time around, the bank is a model in battling the economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus.

Mar 2, 2020

Podcast: How ‘old school personal banking’ helped turn Optus Bank around

From 2010 to 2018 the South Carolina bank was on the FDIC's problem bank list, but in the last two years it has been profitable. Dominik Mjartan, the bank's president and CEO, explains how technology upgrades and relationship building helped it get back on track.

May 8, 2019

Optus Out to Prove a Small Bank Can Leverage Technology

Innovative technology developments and a new business model is the key to the bank’s future, according to Mjartan, no small undertaking for a bank with a …