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Black-owned bank in Durham to get $80M from U.S. Treasury

Leoneda Inge
This file photo is from M&F Bank's grand reopening in 2020.

A Black-owned community bank in Durham is getting $80 million from the U.S. Treasury as part of a federal program designed to support small businesses.

Mechanics and Farmers — or M&F Bank — is the second-oldest Black-owned bank in the country.

The bank's President and CEO James Sills said the program requires the bank to lend $30 million per-year to borrowers deeply impacted by the pandemic.

"People recognize they have to support institutions like ours because we have the ability to provide that funding to help grow their businesses, help them acquire other businesses or just sustain their businesses," Sills said.

M&F has grown significantly since the murder of George Floyd as investors have shown more interest in supporting Black-owned businesses.

Sills says assets have increased by $100 million since then.

In exchange for this investment, the bank issued 80,000 shares of Senior Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series E to the U.S. Treasury, according to a news release. This stock has limited voting rights, no maturity date, and ranks senior to the bank’s common stock.

The investment will allow M&F to continue to implement technology enhancements, provide more lending capacity, build relationships with financial partners, and provide stronger financial literacy platforms for the benefit of the communities it serves, according to the release.

With $370 million in total assets as of March 31, 2022, M&F Bank is the eighth-largest Black-owned financial institution in the U.S.

WUNC's Joe Jurney contributed to this report.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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