Seaway Bank & Trust, Chicago's largest Black bank, is facing impending closure unless the institution raises $22 million, a new report says.
In response to the dire situation, Seaway said in a statement, “We are making good progress in our efforts to improve the stability of the bank and are working closely and cooperatively with our regulators to do so. . . .The bank remains focused on the recapitalization currently underway. We have received excellent responses from investors, which gives us a clear indication that we will be able to meet our targets.”
According to Crain's, Seaway previously raked in $8 million in new deposits since the inception of the "Move Your Money Campaign", popularized by the Occupy Wall Street movement. In more recent years, there has also been renewed interest in Black banking institutions as communities fed up with social injustices seek to make strategic moves with their economic resources. So, yes the dollars in your checking account, however large or small, can and do make a difference when added together.
However, in this instance, Seaway will need our deposits and then some. What the bank really needs is equity to remain open and to have the ability to lend money. At present, Seaway is the largest Black-owned lender in the midwest, carrying $361 million in assets.
Chicago's other Black-owned bank, Illinois Service Federal, was bailed out earlier this year by a Ghanaian-American family who gave the bank a $9 million equity infusion; saving the bank from closure and keeping its ownership Black.
It is possible for us to support these institutions. Let's support Seaway in its time of need and our Black banks all across the country.