News

Sep 29, 2021

Optus Bank Launches Voice-Enabled Banking

COLUMBIA, SC & LITTLE ROCK, AR – September 29, 2021 – Optus Bank, a $300 million asset-size minority depository institution (MDI) and community development financial institution (CDFI), announced today that it is now offering voice banking through Amazon Alexa. In partnership with Smiley Technologies, Inc., a developer, and provider of secure, innovative core banking solutions for community banks, this feature will allow Optus Bank customers to bank hands-free through Amazon Alexa, the world’s largest virtual assistant.

Sep 15, 2021

Optus Bank: A Minority-Owned Financial Institution Driving Wealth and Credit Access in Underserved Communities

In a Nutshell: Although the history of the post-Civil War American South is in many ways a history of African American exclusion, Optus Bank stands as a marker for correcting the mistakes of the past. Founded as Victory Savings Bank by black leaders in 1920s South Carolina, today’s Optus Bank is a $300 million institution with a laser focus on supporting entrepreneurship and broadening consumer credit access in underserved communities of all kinds. One of only 16 black-owned banks in the U.S., Optus builds on its legacy to create a fairer and more equitable future.

Aug 26, 2021

Icons & Phenoms celebrated by CRBR, colleagues and community

The Columbia Regional Business Report celebrated the 2021 Icons & Phenoms Wednesday at a luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia. Colleagues and friends joined the 24 honorees to recognize their many contributions to the Midlands community.

Aug 25, 2021

North Charleston’s Black-owned businesses seek more support amid city’s growth

Whitfield, who is African American, is well aware of the historical disadvantages that have long affected Black-owned businesses. He said he feels his company sends the message that minority-owned companies can do the work if given the opportunity.

Aug 24, 2021

Corporate America’s $50 billion promise

After the murder of George Floyd ignited nationwide protests, corporate America acknowledged it could no longer stay silent and promised to take an active role in confronting systemic racism. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, companies proclaimed “Black lives matter.” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon adopted the posture of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests....

Jul 20, 2021

Business Report honors the 2021 class of Icons & Phenoms

Each year, the Business Report and its sponsors and partners recognize the Icons & Phenoms during a special event and awards ceremony. Profiles of the individual honorees also are published in a special print section of the Business Report. In their third year, the awards recognize the success and community involvement of 24 area leaders. This year's class includes 12 established figures who have been getting things done in the Midlands for decades and 12 up-and-coming movers and shakers already having a significant impact.

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....