Updated: Feb 6
Industrial Bank is a African American bank devoted to sertving black communities in Washington, DC
Washington DC is a city with unique banking needs. It has a larger immigrant and refugee population than any other city in the U.S. These individuals are often ignored when it comes to lending in traditional banking, but, like everyone else, need capital to start businesses and buy homes. Historically, the District has been majority African American, but this majority has been relegated to the East side of the city which experiences much higher rates of unemployment and poverty. These underinvested areas and populations have always, and still do, need banking institutions to provide housing and small business loans that promote economic development.
Industrial Bank has roots in DC going back a century, as Industrial Savings Bank was started in 1913 as the first black-owned bank in the area. Although the bank closed during the Great Depression, it was reopened by Jesse Mitchell in 1934 as the Industrial Bank of Washington. The bank is still family owned today, with Doyle Mitchell as CEO, and most of its branches are still located in predominantly black neighborhoods.
They have maintained their legacy of being a community development bank specifically addressing the needs of DC’s black population. A litany of positive feedback from community members is quoted on their website, with customers saying they have continually supported black churches and other black communities in DC. They pride themselves on their relationships with their customers and the efforts they make to spread financial literacy throughout their customer base and partnering organizations.
Industrial Bank is a CDFI, a Minority Depository Institution (MDI), and has earned an Outstanding CRA rating. They have seven locations throughout the District of Columbia and nearby Maryland. Although they do a moderate amount of small business lending, their focus is on housing loans, with two-thirds of these loans being in low-and-moderate-income neighborhoods. As well as offering basic checking and savings accounts, they offer many kinds of loan products and have online banking for both business and personal accounts. If you’re a DC native, or if you’re looking to invest in black communities in DC, Industrial Bank is the Better Banking Option for you.
Learn more about Industrial Bank here.