Detroit Banks Offer Mentoring, Funds to Minority Communities

Two Detroit-based banks have partnered to collaborate on mutual mentoring opportunities for minority communities. The agreement is highlighted by $2.5 million in deposits to support the initiative.
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Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, Mike Ritchie
Comerica Bank and First Independent Bank have partnered to offer mentoring in mentoring communities. Pictured are Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, chief administrative officer and chief technology officer of First Independence Bank (left) and Mike Ritchie, Michigan market president for Comerica (right). // Photo courtesy of Comerica Bank

Two Detroit-based banks have partnered to collaborate on mutual mentoring opportunities for minority communities. The agreement is highlighted by $2.5 million in deposits to support the initiative.

Comerica Bank, which is based in Dallas and has its Michigan headquarters in Detroit, has partnered with First Independent Bank, the only Minority Depository Institution headquartered in Michigan.

The partnership is part of Comerica’s commitment of moving $10 million in deposits to Minority Depository Institutions within its five-state footprint and building mutual mentoring relationships with these institutions. Minority Depository Institutions help minority and underserved communities and enhances economic viability in these communities.

“Our partnership with First Independence Bank will assist entrepreneurs, small business owners, and the Detroit community navigate through unprecedented struggles,” says Mike Ritchie, Michigan market president for Comerica. “Minority Depository Institutions play a critical role in our neighborhoods, and these commitments help deliver crucial resources focused on making our community stronger.”

First Independence Bank is the only African American-owned bank headquartered in the state, and the seventh largest African American-controlled commercial bank in the U.S. It was established in 1970.

“The First Independence Bank and Comerica Bank both hold complimentary synergies and efforts that aim towards empowering Minority Depository Institutions and the communities that we serve, and we are truly thankful for their purposeful support,” says Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, chief administrative officer and chief technology officer of First Independence Bank.

Of the $10 million in deposits, Comerica has allocated $2.5 million each to Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles and Unity National Bank in Houston.

“Comerica recognizes the critical role Minority Depository Institutions play within communities that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Irvin Ashford Jr., chief community officer for Comerica. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the anchor of local communities, and working with these MDIs will go a long way to ensuring that they continue to not only survive but thrive in the current economic climate and beyond.”

The announcement is Comerica’s latest action taken to support local communities as they continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Comerica and the Comerica Charitable Foundation announced investments totaling $8 million in support of community programming and businesses impacted by the pandemic. Investments include:

  • $1 million and a partnership with the National Business League to help launch the Black Capital Access Program, an access to capital initiative helping black-owned businesses across the country;
  • $150,000 investment in Hatch Detroit to help launch the Hatch Detroit Small Business Alumni Relief Fund, which supports alumni businesses of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest that have been financially affected by COVID-19;
  • Hosting free virtual Small Business Bootcamps across Comerica’s five-state footprint of Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Texas; and
  • $3.1 million to three community development financial institutions to support access to capital for underserved communities and small businesses.

Comerica was founded in Detroit in 1849. It has more than 4,700 employees across the state.

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