Comerica Provides Capital to Black-Owned First Independence Bank for Loan Initiative
One of Michigan’s largest banks is providing $ 2.5 million to another lender in an attempt to boost minority-owned business lending.
Dallas-based Comerica Inc., the state’s second largest bank bank in terms of deposits in 2019, said on Wednesday it would provide a total of $ 10 million to minority deposit-taking institutions nationwide that help fund communities. minority.
$ 2.5 million will go to Detroit-based First Independence Bank, the state’s only MDI and the only black-owned bank in Michigan.
“Our partnership with First Independence Bank will help entrepreneurs, small business owners and the Detroit community get through unprecedented struggles,” said Mike Ritchie, Michigan Market President of Comerica Bank, in a statement. “Minority deposit-taking institutions play a vital role in our neighborhoods, and these commitments help provide critical resources focused on strengthening our community. “
Dimitrius Hutcherson, Chief Executive Officer and CTO of First Independence Bank, said the two banks “hold synergies and complementary efforts to empower the minority deposit-taking institutions and the communities we serve, and we are truly grateful for their determined support “.
So why would a big bank like Comerica provide capital to a competing lender?
Larry Reed, Comerica’s senior vice president for external affairs and community development, told Crain’s in an emailed statement that MDIs like First Independence are able to make more direct inroads into communities than Comerica hopes. to reach.
“MDIs have a unique ability to reach diverse populations, and Comerica is keen to support access to capital in various communities, especially those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Reed said. “The added benefit of establishing a relationship with MDIs is that banks can share best practices, which further improves the delivery of banking services to clients of both organizations. “
Comerica has nearly $ 29 billion in Michigan deposits from Crain’s most recent list of the largest banks and bank holdings.
Other banks have also made efforts to provide capital to underserved areas in recent months. TCF Bank based in Detroit last month announced a billion dollar loan fund for women and entrepreneurs of color.