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First Black Bank in Minnesota Aims to Eliminate Racial Wealth Gap

The first Black-owned bank in Minnesota opened its doors this morning. First Independence Bank, a Detroit based company, has been around for 52 years and received support from five corporate owned banks for its transition into the Twin Cities.

“We are Black-owned, but we are not Black only,” says Damon Jenkins, the Senior Vice President and Regional Market President.

He believes that in order for the bank to thrive and fulfill its mission of eradicating the deep rooted economic racial disparities, the bank will need support from everyone in the community.

“It is historic that five corporate banks parked their logos at the door,” an effort Damon says was a collective push to help eradicate the racial wealth disparities in the State. “Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities for homeownership in the country and that locks People of Color out of generational wealth.”

Located on University on the border of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, customers of First Independence Bank will have access to over 55,000 ATMS with no service charge as a part of their partnership with Bank of America, Bremer, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and Huntington.

“Being the first Black-owned bank in Minnesota reminds us that banks are beacons of hope that are the catalyst for generational wealth building,” says Kenneth Kelly Chairman & CEO, First Independence Bank.

“I’m proud of the role U.S. Bank played to make this happen. This is what real partnership looks like, and it's going to take this level of commitment if we're going to make good on our promises to increase Black wealth,” says Tim Welsh, Vice Chair, Consumer and Business Banking at U.S. Bank.

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