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Last Black-Owned Bank in Chicago Gets $20 Million Deposit To Help Stay Open

The last Black-owned bank in Chicago received a major deposit from the city government to help it to keep its doors open. Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan Associations (IsfBank) received a $20 million deposit from the city of Chicago to help ensure the bank would stay open and continue to serve the community.

Chicago recognizes the important role that IsBank plays in the community by serving the needs of small minority-owned businesses and residents. What began as a grass-roots campaign called #BankBlack, encouraging consumers to put their money in black-owned banks, has now grown to include institutions and municipalities, all supporting efforts to keep the last black-owned bank in business.

Over the past 25 years, Black-owned banks nationwide have slowly disappeared from more than 100 to just a few dozen. In Chicago alone, 10 Black-owned lenders have closed in the past few years.

The last one to go was the Seaway Bank & Trust, which was closed by the FDIC and sold earlier this year. That means that IsfBank is literally the last remaining Black-owned bank in the Chicago area.

The continued existence of Black-owned banks is critical in serving the needs of minorities. According to research, Black and Hispanic borrowers still face tough challenges when it comes to getting loans to buy homes, and homes are the most important factor in building wealth in the U.S. IsfBank, founded in 1934, faced the risk of closing in 2015 due to not enough capital, but it survived.

The recent deposit from the City of Chicago was a huge boost to ensure the bank’s continued existence. According to Phillip Beckham, executive director of Mid South Business Association and Resource Center, the deposit will enable them to support and develop homes, businesses and neighborhoods where Black people live.

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To learn more about Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan, visit

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