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University National Bank, the only Texas bank in the dark, opens in Atlanta
Unity National Bank opened its first office in Atlanta at a period when the number of US minorities is declining. Expanding is limiting the recent years' economic development at Houston-based Unity, which is being fuelled, among other things, by the Bank's ongoing involvement with its Third District neighbours and recent moves towards greater corporate citizenship such as Black Live's Matter.
University is the only Afro-American bank in Texas. The bank recorded more than $98 million in net investments in September 2017, compared to $84 million in the same quarter last year. According to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. survey, it is one of the most powerful Afro-American financial institutions in the US.
Unity's pecuniary performance is an escape, said William Michael Cunningham, a Washington-based economics and finance specialist. Noting that the 2008 economic downturn and changes in Bundesbank rules compelled many small minorities, in particular those in possession of minorities, to go under. There were 55 Afro-American commercial bankers in the USA in 1994, down to 34 in 2010.
The unity's surviving through the downturn can be ascribed both to its assets and its management, said Tommy Brooks, the bank's CFO. Houston's property markets were not as overdone as other areas around 2008, Brooks said, making sure that the bank would not incur as many casualties as non-government rivals. In addition, Unity was able to prevent state rescue packages from being used after its directors and stockholders had spent their own funds to keep the bank open.
You are not prepared to give up its historical and emblematic meaning, Brooks added. During the 1960s citizens hip wave, the Unity bank emerged across the entire state. Small entrepreneurs from Africa and the USA, who were refused funding from bank branches in Germany, opened their own bank in their neighbourhood. It was used as a means of building up their own assets and as a sign of the dark economy.
Initially established in 1963 as Riverside National Bank, Unity was managed by a team of medical practitioners and solicitors. Commenting on this, Cunningham said that these entrepreneurs often had no successor plans, which resulted in the closure of banking institutions by the next family. The name of the bank was renamed Unity National Bank in 1985. A new group of minorities took over Unity four years later, continuing the bank's heritage of ministering to lower-income Houston's Third Ward and going so far as to provide clients refused credit from other institutions with access to finance education.
Unity employees kept in touch with our client, guided them through the reasons for their rejection and helped them refine their finances to become qualified. In all its endeavors, Unity lost more profitable accounts to bigger bankers like Wells Fargo, which provided more ressources. In 1998, Unity opened its first office in Missouri City, where it gained a higher net worth clientele and a wider range of clientele, among them Latinos and Asians.
Mr Brooks noted that as the unity was continuing to minister to their fellowship, this year as a local bank, there were some questions as to whether the fellowship valued the service and story of unity. The bank received its response in 2016. After the shots fired at blacks across the nation in 2016, among them Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, the killer Mike provided an alternate to outrages.
During an MTV and BET City Council assembly, as an expansion of the Blacks Lives Matter movements, he asked 1 million African Americans to leave $100 in bank deposits. The unit was surprised. Over 350 new Unity account opened after Mike's proclamation. Some of them travelled from abroad, where their dark banking houses had shut down.
Unity's Sherifat Lawal, Undersecretary VP of Loaning, said that the pressure from #BankBlack is still felt today with people from all over Texas and outside the state asking for new offices. Lawal added that the Atlanta investment this year was partly fuelled by official assistance in 2016.
Since 2007, Unity has been interested in Unity entering the Atlanta brand because it is the "Mecca" of the underground world. The opportunity arose in 2017 when one of the leading afro-US bank in Atlanta was shut down, and left a gap for the unit to fill. At the Houston office, a billboard that announces the Atlanta extension welcomes customers.
In the Houston area, Unity remains a sponsor of the African Americans, which includes members of the Greater Houston-based Black Chambers of Commerce. Board-Chairman Courtney Johnson-Rose said the bank offers to most of its members legal advice and acted as an administrator for the Chamber's Buy Barlist. It is a similar expansion of the Bill Lives Matter and #BankBlack movements by supporting Billy companies and service providers located in Houston.
In order to further develop the new interest of the general population in the dark bank, Unity will introduce a comprehensive on-line trading system by the end of the year to enable citizens from all over Texas and the USA to open bank account services now.