First Independence Bank receives investment from JPMorgan Chase


Detroit’s leading independent bank announced an investment from JPMorgan Chase as part of its broader support for minority depositories. // Courtesy of First Independence Bank

First Independence Bank, a 51-year-old black-owned bank based in Detroit, announced that JPMorgan Chase has made a long-term equity investment in the bank as part of its broader support for minority depositories (MDI ). The actual amount of the investment was not disclosed.

The announcement is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $ 30 billion pledge to advance racial equity. First Independent Bank will be strengthened by investing through additional capital, connections with investors, tailored support, mentoring and training opportunities.

“It’s a perfect example of aligning synergies. First Independence and JPMorgan Chase see the need to strengthen communities like ours. This investment enables our bank to be able to build better bridges to reach our community, to meet documented needs, ”said Kenneth Kelly, President and CEO of First Independence Bank.

First Independence recently announced that it has filed an application to expand its operations in the Minneapolis market. The bank has been asked to help with community development as part of this city’s recent focus on improving racial equity.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) means a federally insured depository institution as MDI when more than half of the voting shares are owned by persons belonging to minorities, or when the majority of the board of directors and the community served are minority. These institutions need additional capital to provide vital financial services to underserved communities.

The bank will use the investment to impact branch operations and services and will continue to focus on financial education, promoting financial well-being and building community wealth. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor reports that one in four Detroit residents are unbanked, with no checks or savings accounts.

“We are focused on creating lasting change to help close the racial wealth gap across the country,” said Byna Elliot, black lanes advancement manager for JPMorgan Chase. “Providing additional access to capital and offering mentoring and training opportunities to these institutions is an essential element in fostering economic inclusion in our communities. We are exceptionally proud to support First Independence Bank and provide vital financial services to more of Detroit.

First Independence Bank is the seventh largest black-owned commercial bank in the United States. IT has three locations and offers banking solutions – including account management, personal loans, mortgages, etc. – online via its mobile application.

“We are proud to partner with JPMorgan Chase to empower individuals and families in our communities through financial investments. This Level I support allows MDIs like First Independence to draw on decades of community development expertise, ”said Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer / CTO of First Independence Bank.

“This investment will fund the expansion of branch office services and increase our ability to serve customers, the unbanked and the underbanked in product areas such as investment education, pathways to property and small business loans. “

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