Why you should be banking with First Independence Bank

The only Black bank and one of two local banks in Detroit


Detroit is a city which, like many neighborhoods and cities with a majority Black population, has been given a partisan reputation for violence and poverty. While a larger portion of Detroit residents are low-income than any other city, a long history of redlining, discrimination and disinvestment prevented Black families from building generational wealth through their homes or small businesses. Even now, in Detroit, Black loan applicants in 2016 were 1.8 times more likely to be denied a loan than their non-Hispanic, white counterparts.



Traditional banks have a long history of discrimination against POC when it comes to their lending practices, resulting in other banking institutions being formed for and by those groups being discriminated against. They’re now federally recognized and designated by the FDIC as Minority Depository Institutions and still play an incredibly important role in lessening racial economic divides in this country.


We lift up Black banks and credit unions in particular because Black communities have been particularly isolated and undervalued by traditional banking. First Independence Bank is a fantastic Black-owned bank working in Detroit to make quality loans in low-income neighborhoods. They opened in 1970 and have been devoted to improving the economic prospects of each of their customers for 50 years. They’re one of two banks headquartered in Detroit, and two of their three locations (all in the city) are located in low-income census tracts.


A CDFI as well as an MDI, First Independence Bank does a significant amount of both small business and housing lending. During the pandemic, they’ve worked with federal lenders to make a number of PPP loans to small business in the city.


We love this Better Banking Option because they’re not just a local-minded institution with their focus solely on Detroit, they’re of the communities they work with and, as a Black bank, have a deeper understanding of the financial needs of Detroit residents, who are most likely Black. The have both online and mobile banking options, so anyone that wants their deposits to be used for quality loans in Black communities in Detroit can move their money there. To do just that today, check out their website, or to find more Better Banking Options in Detroit, check out our search engine.