ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF), a racial justice nonprofit working to ensure communities of color can access capital and build wealth through a robust Black banking sector, and JAM FINTOP, a joint venture between Jacobs Asset Management and FINTOP Capital that endeavors to accelerate technology adoption at community banks across the country, announced today a strategic partnership and the formation of a new Minority Depository Institution (MDI) Innovation Committee.
The NBBF has been instrumental in bringing new commercial growth opportunities to Black banks, including a first-in-professional sports loan transaction that was syndicated across eleven Black banks and the Atlanta Hawks NBA team. Transactions like this provide participating banks the opportunity to place quality earning assets on their balance sheet. Equally important for minority depository institutions is updated technology to remain relevant. MDIs provide critically needed banking products and services to small businesses and individuals in minority and lower income communities in urban and rural areas that have traditionally lacked access to safe and affordable credit. Many of these institutions are small, and building capacity and scale are critical to growing their operations and expanding services to their communities
The NBBF-JAM FINTOP partnership will bring together experts in financial services, regulation, and fintech to support Black banks and their customers. At the heart of this partnership is a new MDI Innovation Committee, which will provide a vital pathway to modernize the technology stacks of underinvested and undercapitalized minority depository institutions.
The MDI Innovation Committee will include:
- The National Black Bank Foundation
- JAM FINTOP
- Ameris Bancorp (ABCB)
- Atlantic Union Bankshares (AUB)
- Banner Corporation (BANR)
- Columbia Banking System Inc (COLB)
- ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (CNOB)
- East West Bancorp Inc (EWBC)
- Figure Technologies
- First Busey Corp (BUSE)
- Harrison Barnes (Fintech investor, bank board member, and professional athlete)
- New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYCB)
- OFG Bancorp (OFG)
- Renasant Corp (RNST)
- Sterling Bancorp (STL)
- Synovus Financial Corp (SNV)
- Veritex Holdings Inc (VBTX)
- Valley National Bancorp (VLY)
Ashley Bell, general counsel for the National Black Bank Foundation, will serve as a Lead Director on the MDI Innovation Committee. Commenting on the strategic partnership, Ashley Bell, stated: "Black-owned banks desperately need to upgrade their technology to meet the unique needs of borrowers of color, who are rejected for credit at twice the national rate. This partnership with the JAM FINTOP Network will be instrumental in making sure MDIs have a modern tech stack that keeps them relevant and competitive to help them serve their communities."
Committee member and Figure Technologies co-founder June Ou will offer MDIs visibility into the dynamic fintech landscape. Ou oversaw development of the open-source blockchain platform Provenance, which has revolutionized how digital assets are issued, accessed, and exchanged. "We're pursuing innovative blockchain solutions that are bank-relevant and targeted at bringing the un- and under-banked into the financial ecosystem. We want to be a partner to these important MDIs and have a positive effect on local communities," Ou said.
JAM FINTOP Banktech was formed in 2021 to invest in banktech on behalf of 66 community banks with total assets north of $600 billion. Adam Aspes, a General Partner at JAM Special Opportunity Ventures, said, "Our bank network is a formidable group, and through active engagement with our partners, we are helping them stay ahead of the fintech curve. We believe we are in the early stages of the financial system being totally rewired and that it's critical for MDIs to have a seat at the table. We are eager to work with the NBBF and our bank partners to make this happen."
ABOUT THE NATIONAL BLACK BANK FOUNDATION
The nonprofit National Black Bank Foundation and its investment unit, the Black Bank Fund, were formed in 2020 to uplift Black-owned banks and the communities they serve. Working with corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation provides legal, regulatory, and operational assistance to Black banks while the Fund will invest $250 million in direct Tier 1 capital into existing Black banks through stock purchases. Learn more at www.NBBFoundation.org.
ABOUT JAM FINTOP
JAM FINTOP is a joint venture between JAM Special Opportunity Ventures (“JSOV”), an affiliate of Jacobs Asset Management (“JAM”), and FINTOP Capital. The partnership brings together bank experts and seasoned fintech entrepreneurs to invest in companies changing the way financial institutions and their customers move, track, and interact with money. JAM has a 26-year history investing in public and private community banks, and FINTOP Capital is a leading fintech investor with over 140 years of collective experience. JAM and JSOV are not affiliated with FINTOP Capital.
JAM FINTOP Banktech raised $150 million in April 2021 to help accelerate technology adoption at community banks across the United States. Uniquely, all 66 of the fund's limited partners are community banks. The $600+ billion of combined assets of the fund's limited partners would rank as the fifth-largest bank in the nation. JAM FINTOP's second fund, JAM FINTOP Blockchain, will invest in blockchain infrastructure, on-ramps and businesses. With Figure and NYCB as lead investors, it is currently being marketed to Qualified Purchasers. For more information, visit www.jamfintop.com.