Black-owned OneUnited Bank gets boost after protests
The Boston-based bank is gaining more attention after Black Lives Matter draws attention to Black financial companies
OneUnited Bank says its the nation’s biggest Black-owned bank. Since protests roiled the nation after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by police, Black-owned financial institutions and other companies are seeing renewed interest in their business.
The Boston-based bank which has branch locations in Los Angeles and Miami has been around since 1968. It offers a variety of financial services including checking and saving and a Unity Visa secured card which helps its users rebuild credit.
CEO Kevin Cohee told TMZ that the bank’s business has exploded since the protests made people more conscious of patronizing Black businesses. Black-owned Carver Bank saw a huge run on its stock, driving up the price, as did Black-owned media company Urban One.
Cohee says that in June, OneUnited expanded its customer base by 50% and saw a record 50 million deposits into differing accounts. Traffic on their website was up 100% in June as compared to the same time period last year.
Although initially controversial, the bank’s Harriet Tubman-themed debit card was also popular, according to TMZ. Cohee said that the bank has long been committed to activism and was rolling out some upgrades earlier this year including better customer service and improvements to its online banking platform.
OneUnited is among the businesses supporting National Blackout Day today to encourage the patronage of Black business.
Some corporations have already taken that challenge. Netflix announced last week that they would bank 2% of their total earnings with Black financial institutions which comes out to about $100M.
Earlier this month, financial journalism behemoth Forbes released a list of 75 Black businesses to support, joining a number of other major media companies publishing similar lists to raise awareness and generate support for Black-owned companies.