Now is the time to invest in Black-owned banks
In the past two weeks, millions of dollars shuffled from startup and investor bank accounts housed in the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank to the JPMorgans, Brexes and Wises of the world. As founders and investors continue looking for new places to park their money, it’s essential to consider this moment as an opportunity to start banking with some of the few Black-owned banks.
Digitally, there is Intrepid, founded by Collin Thompson, which works exclusively with businesses and global remote teams. Thompson told TechCrunch+ that his company’s goal is to become a trusted partner to founders, especially those affected by the SVB collapse.
Intrepid offers similar services to Brex, in addition to more specialized assistance, such as all-in-one HR tools. In the wake of SVB’s crash, Intrepid has implemented services like higher Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance and sweep accounts. To create insurance beyond the typical $250,000 backed by the FDIC, Thompson said he’s building a new deposit network product with his banking partners, allowing his company to create multiple deposit accounts within the FDIC-insured limit and letting customers access those accounts through a single application. Intrepid also provides social resources, such as introductions and events, for those looking to grow their business networks.
“Given our diverse backgrounds, this informs how we manage risk, what types of customers we take on and how we serve,” Thompson said. “Our interests, experiences and character guide us, and this will impact the types of customers we attract. We believe that every customer, regardless of their background or identity, deserves to have a financial partner they can trust and rely on, and we are here to provide that.”
There are also brick-and-mortar Black banks, such as Unity National Bank, currently the only Black-owned bank in the state of Texas, which has a branch in Atlanta; Liberty Bank, which has branches in nine states, including Louisiana; and OneUnited, which is based in Massachusetts with branches in Los Angeles, Miami and Boston.
Many Black-owned brick-and-mortar banks are based in the U.S. South, which aligns with the latest venture migration pattern to states such as Georgia, Texas and Florida. Though these banks do not have many branches, they could still be important when considering financial diversification.