By: Taryn Finley Black Voices Associate Editor, The Huffington Post
Atlanta executive staff of Citizens Trust Bank
In the weeks following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, more and more influencers, like Solange and Killer Mike, have started to #BankBlack and have transferred their money into Black-owned banks.
Now, a historic black bank in Atlanta has seen a spike in business. In just five days, 8,000 people have submitted applications to join Citizen’s Trust Bank, according to 11 Alive. Citizens Trust also has branches in Birmingham and Eutaw, Alabama.
“It’s a tremendous propel forward for the bank and the future of the bank and bringing new relevance to a bank that’s been here for 95 years. And, it’s a statement about what the next 95 years will look like,” Jay Bailey, chairman of the bank’s Next Generation Advisory Board, told the local outlet.
The bank’s CEO and president, Cynthia N. Day, thanked Killer Mike on Twitter for urging people to collectively put $100 million in Atlanta’s only black bank just days before the increase in business.
Executive Vice President Fredrick Daniels said the bank, which was founded in 1921, has survived despite several economic hardships. Now, he said Citizen’s Trust is looking to grow and get more black people to keep their money in their communities.
“Citizen’s Trust provides a financial foundation for our community and that really helps us to put in place the businesses that we wanna see that we don’t see in our communities,” Daniels told 11 Alive.
With $328.8 million in deposits as of the end of 2015, Bailey said Citizen’s Trust’s goal is to make history by becoming the first black-owned billion dollar bank in the country. Bailey noted that while protesting racial inequality is important, a perhaps more noticeable change comes when black people invest back into their communities.
“I’ve been telling people that it’s time to come home,” he said. “Rallies are great and they’re necessary. Protesting is great and it’s necessary but what will sustain and grow from here is our dollar and galvanizing our dollar.”
The United States had 23 black-owned banks, credit unions or savings and loan associations as of March 31, according to the Federal Reserve.