We continue to stress the importance of Black owned banks and the role they play in Black communities, today we’ll cover two in our post. Liberty Bank & Trust is one of the top 5 Black owned banks in the country. With over $628 million in total assets, and $541 million in total deposits. It's the third largest Black owned financial institution in the nation.
Founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Liberty Bank opened with a focus on business and community development. They started providing loans and services for small businesses like restaurants, bars and music halls, which propel local and international tourism. Additionally, they provide home loans, auto loans and basic banking services like checking and savings accounts, for communities otherwise neglected by mainstream banks.
As the years progressed Liberty Bank grew to other towns in Louisiana; Baton Rouge in 1994 where they have two branches. They expanded out of state to Mississippi, when they acquired First American Bank in the city of Jackson. Further expansion came as a result of acquisitions of banks in the states of Missouri and Kansas, Douglass Bank being one of them. Interestingly, this acquisition came during the 2008 financial crisis. While the nation was experiencing financial hardship, Liberty Bank was growing.
In 2009 Liberty acquired United Bank and Trust and secured four locations that serve the New Orleans area. Next came Home Federal Savings bank in Detroit, Michigan. This acquisition increased their presence to six states. Moving into the state of Illinois, Liberty acquired Covenant Bank in Chicago in 2013 and continued growing. In Alabama they acquired First Tuskegee Bank, with locations in Montgomery and Tuskegee in 2015. In 2019 Liberty Bank continues its growth and expansion with its latest acquisition of Metro Bank in Louisville, Kentucky, broadening its reach to eight states. For more information go to LibertyBank.net.
Harbor Bank of Maryland is another one of the top Black owned financial institutions that services the state of Maryland. They have seven branches that serve primarily the Baltimore area as well as other counties throughout Maryland. The city of Baltimore has traditionally been an area underserved financially. The school systems and municipalities were and are underfunded. Crime, violence and drugs have historically gone unchecked. Those in a position to buy a home or open a business were denied services due to practices like redlining and mainstream banks not wanting to get into business with Blacks in these areas, regardless of education status or sound business plans.
When Harbor Bank opened its doors in 1982, it was to fulfill the important need of providing funding to the area in need of business and community development. They began providing all financial services from the basic: checking, savings, credit and debit, to home, automobile, business and even commercial real estate loans. Harbor Bank doesn't just serve the Black community, they serve anyone in Baltimore. They have a very diverse customer base because of the nature of the bank. It's said to have a retail feel that appeals to a variety of customers. The bank also has an investment subsidiary, Harbor Financial Services, making it the first community bank to do so. For more information go to TheHarborbank.com.