Carver Federal Savings Bank plans to grow retail investors by reinvesting in the communities they serve through partnerships with the public and private sectors, focusing on job preservation and teaching financial education skills.
âThe key ingredient is to work across the public and private sectors to ultimately come up with solutions that will help the community as a whole,â said Michael Pugh, president and CEO of Carver Bancorp, Inc., the holding company Carver Federal Savings Bank, which is a federally chartered stock savings bank that provides community-based banking services.
Based in Harlem, Carver was founded in 1948 to serve African American communities whose residents, businesses, and institutions had limited access to traditional financial services. Over the years, they have kept that commitment by reinvesting 80 cents of every dollar deposited in the communities they serve.
Over the past few years, Carver has provided financial education skills and workshops to over 16,000 people, including small businesses, to help them thrive. Carver has also provided more than $ 23 million in access to capital to women and minority entrepreneurs through partnerships with the public and private sectors.
âIf an investor or new bank customer says, ‘I want to be a part of the difference,’ then Carver is the right place for them,â Pugh said.
Over the past year, Carver has received a long-term equity investment of approximately $ 10 million from JPMorgan Chase. The additional capital, made available through the equity investment, means Carver can continue to lend to women and entrepreneurs of minority-owned businesses and nonprofits, especially nonprofits. who have social service programs and initiatives to create jobs in the communities Carver serves.
Carver will also use the proceeds to expand its financial education programs in the various low to moderate income communities it serves and to explore new initiatives that create economic empowerment in communities of color.
Carver too in partnership with Wells Fargo to provide customers with more points of access to their money across the country. Combined with the Allpoint ATM Network service, Carver customers can now make withdrawals, transfer funds and view their account balances at more than 80,000 Wells Fargo ATMs around the world without incurring additional charges.
âSo not only are we now addressing solutions that help deliver capital, but we are also making banking services nationally accessible to the customers we hold dear,â Pugh said. Adding: âPartnerships with Wells Fargo, Chase and others allow us to continue to think about how we approach the problem of the wealth gap,â Pugh said.
Carver has a social and economic impact on life by spending time in the communities he works with and talking to real people about real life experiences, Pugh said. With Carver’s support, many small business entrepreneurs have been able to take their business from concept to reality.
Over the past year, Carver has managed to raise around $ 30.5 million in capital from institutional investors such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. But Carver has also seen an interest in the overall performance of the company’s shares. Carver Federal Savings is listed on the Nasdaq. In Carver’s 52 weeks, the stock has gone from around $ 6.60 per share to over $ 14 per share.
âIt’s really a direct link to our history, in terms of what we do, our mission, in terms of how we focus on service and being physically there to help customers – many of whom need the support of an institution like Carver today, more than ever, âPugh said.
During the pandemic, Carver provided access to capital in greater New York City, distributing more than 400 loans to clients through the Paycheck Protection Program. These loans have helped to preserve more than 5,000 jobs in New York City.
Carver also recently launched a digital platform. Now, Carver is available in nine states for customers who want to open an account from the comfort of their own home.
“We are also thinking about how we will continue to provide better access to credit solutions from a much more digital perspective, and we have some exciting research and development projects underway,” Pugh said.
Carver is set to launch a loan program that will support clients and entrepreneurs of small businesses that do not have a traditional credit rating, as 53 million American adults do not have a traditional credit rating, according to Fair Isaac Corp., creator of the FICO metric.
âBut we also know that a large percentage of these people without a traditional credit score have other credit characteristics that make them fully eligible,â Pugh said. Carver’s new loan program would solve that problem, helping small businesses recover from the pandemic and thrive, as well as further supporting their mission of helping minorities and women entrepreneurs.