A huge investment in minority banking

    September 14, 2013

    Russ KashianRussell Kashian knows how significant minority banks are to the communities they serve.

    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor's economic research, which has delved into everything from certificate of deposit rates to credit unions, has received national attention.

    On Sept. 17, when the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation announces its $5 million investment in African-American banking institutions, Kashian will be at the podium.

    The event, which takes place in the nation's capital at noon at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, is part of a new campaign to strengthen the economy in black communities.

    "Minority-owned banks, and specifically black-owned banks, are a foundational business in America's urban areas," Kashian said. "They serve several key roles. They provide banking services to areas that are often barren of any other mainstream banking services. They attract monies into the community through reasonably aggressive interest rates on CDs. They are a source of valuable 'jobs with ladders' for the neighborhood; these jobs for tellers, loan officers and mortgage originators offer family wages and the opportunity for training and skill enrichment."

    Kashian, who is director of UW-Whitewater's Fiscal and Economic Research Center, will speak along with U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (Penn.); A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; Michael Grant, president of the National Bankers Association; Doyle Mitchell, board chair of the National Bankers Association and president of Industrial Bank; and Ron Busby, CEO of U.S. Black Chambers.

    In all, five banks will receive $1 million each. The investment is part of a broader effort to increase the availability of loans for businesses and individuals in African-American communities.

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