The National Black Bank Foundation and JAM FINTOP Network have teamed up to ensure communities of color can access capital and build wealth through a Black banking sector.
The partnership will focus on the adoption of technology by US community banks as well as form a Minority Despository Institution Innovation Committee (MDI).
MDIs provide critical banking products and services to both small businesses and individuals in minority and lower income communities. They cover urban and rural areas that have traditionally lacked access to safe and affordable credit.
Many of these institutions are small, therefore building capacity and scale and having access to updated technology is critical to the growth of their operations.
Ashley Bell, general counsel for the National Black Bank Foundation, will serve as a lead director on the MDI Innovation Committee.
Bell said: “Black-owned banks desperately need to upgrade their technology to meet the unique needs of borrowers of color, who are rejected for credit at twice the national rate.
“This partnership with the JAM FINTOP Network will be instrumental in making sure MDIs have a modern tech stack that keeps them relevant and competitive to help them serve their communities.”
New York Community Bancorp was the most recent organisation to join the newly formed committee. The company joins 13 other banks on the Committee.
JAM FINTOP Banktech was formed in 2021 to invest in bank tech on behalf of 66 community banks with total assets north of $600 billion.
Adam Aspes, a general partner at JAM Special Opportunity Ventures, said: “Our bank network is a formidable group, and through active engagement with our partners, we are helping them stay ahead of the fintech curve.
“We are in the early stages of the financial system being totally rewired and that it's critical for MDIs to have a seat at the table. We are eager to work with the NBBF and our bank partners to make this happen.”
More recently, the FDIC launched a fund to support underserved communities. The $120m fund which is backed by Microsoft, Truist Financial Corporation and Discovery will provide capital and financial services to support MDIs and community development financial institutions.
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