Durham’s M&F Bank draws $80M investment from U.S. Treasury

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Mechanics and Farmers Bank – a Durham institution and America’s second-oldest Black-owned bank – has received $ 80 million from the US Treasury as part of the agency’s Emergency Capital Investment Program.

M & F’s capital now exceeds $ 119 million, according to company president and CEO James J. Sills III.

“This investment is a testament to the strength of the M&F Bank franchise, the health and soundness of the Company and its abilities to positively impact disadvantaged communities within its markets,” Sills said in a statement Wednesday. “This investment will allow us to build on our recent successes by providing even more ways for us to support small businesses in our community.”

The ECIP is part of Congress’ Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was created to encourage low- and moderate-income community financial institutions to enhance their support of small businesses and consumers in their communities, ”according to the Treasury.

The investment augments two years of historic growth for the 115-year-old company. Following the Great Recession, M&F nearly faltered. In 2017, the bank reported its first net loss since inception. Many of its patrons were aging.

But in the wake of George Floyd’s death and 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement, M&F attracted new interest from investors keen to preserve the bank’s mission. Prominent Triangle companies such as Global Data Consortium and Pendo deposited millions of dollars.

“We are the only African American-owned bank in North Carolina,” Sills previously told The News & Observer, “and given that there are only about 17 African American-owned banks in the United States we have to continue the mission of our organization. to continue to serve to provide access to capital …. Other banks do great, but they’re not focused on the same demographics or diverse populations that we are. ”

M&F marked its most successful year in 2021, raising about $ 100 million in total assets. Sills expects the company can reach $ 1 billion if it charts similar growth over coming years. M&F will use its expanded resources to build better digital platforms, foster financial literacy and improve its technologies to facilitate easier customer transactions.

“The key is that we continue what we were founded to do,” Sills said. “… The bank is here to work with everybody in the community. We have customers of all ethnicities and we’re focused on small business owners. We really, we really want to help everybody grow their business. ”

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