Carver: 70 years strong

Carver: 70 years strong|Carver: 70 years strong
Carver today
Brad Hamilton

Carver Federal Savings Bank is an historic minority-managed community bank with a robust mobile banking platform and eight branches located in New York City, including four in Brooklyn, three in Manhattan and one in Queens. The bank is also a member of the Allpoint ATM network that allows customers to make cash withdrawals from ATM’s located in CVS, Costco and Duane Reade stores, among others, with no additional fees. This year, Carver is celebrating 70 years of success serving some of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City.

Carver was founded in 1948 with the mission to serve African Americans who at the time had limited access to mainstream financial services. Over the past seven decades, the bank has experienced firsthand the benefits of diversity throughout all levels of its organization.

“As the largest Black managed, publically traded Minority Depository Institution in the U.S., Carver continues to undergo positive change as we position ourselves to strengthen core profitability, enlarge our depository and lending base and offer new banking products and services to our customers — all the while leveraging our designation as a Community Development Financial Institution by the U.S. Treasury Department,” remarked Carver CEO Michael T. Pugh.

“We’ve tried to put ourselves where our customers need us most,” Pugh notes. The cost of doing business in New York City, however, remains high. Talent costs the same whether you are at Carver or one of the major commercial banks. On top of that regulatory costs show no sign of abating for community banks like Carver.

“When it comes to regulation and associated costs, there isn’t a line drawn between large and small institutions, and it obviously is harder for smaller institutions like us to meet these costs,” adds Pugh. “This is why we need the support of our communities more than ever. If you haven’t been to a Carver branch recently, please do stop by to see all that we have to offer.”

Carver certainly has its champions. Those who witnessed the recapitalization of the bank during the depths of the financial crisis have had considerable praise for the company’s leadership, and they also stress the importance of the role Carver plays in the communities where it operates.

In addition to expanding banking options and providing financial education for low- to moderate-income communities across New York City, Carver has a strong history of empowering and supporting women through inclusion in leadership roles going back to its inception. Indeed, approximately two thirds of the Bank’s staff is comprised of women. More broadly speaking, the bank’s staff is about 70% African American, 20% Hispanic, and about 10% are Caucasian. In addition, 100 percent of its board members are African- or Caribbean-American. In many ways, diversity and all of the business benefits it creates are ingrained in Carver’s DNA.

Many of Carver’s customers appreciate intuitively that where they bank can have a significant impact in their local neighborhoods. In the case of Carver, the bank reinvests $0.83 of each deposit dollar back into the diverse neighborhoods it serves, through competitively priced consumer and small business loans. Yes, that’s 83 percent of each deposit dollar the bank takes in.

While staying true to its history, in recent years Carver has developed a laser focus on meeting the needs of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, which play a huge role in creating local jobs in the communities in which Carver operates. To date, Carver has provided approximately $23 million in loans to MWBEs through public and private partnerships like the MTA Small Business Mentorship Program.

Promoting financial literacy and economic independence is likewise a big part of Carver’s mission. The bank designs all of its products to promote economic independence through pricing, terms and conditions and effective marketing to make sure people know about these products. The bank is also proud to have provided financial literacy training to more than 15,000 individuals over the past 10 years.

Because the bank understands the business models that work in the communities it serves, it sees the potential of these entrepreneurs, giving the bank a chance to serve them and fill the gaps left by the mainstream competition.

Carver certainly has a strong value proposition for small businesses and consumers who wish to see their deposit dollars reinvested in their local communities. May wisdom continue to be Carver’s guide for the next 70 years.

To learn more about the bank please visit:

Founders of the Carver Federal Savings Bank.
Carver Federal Savings Bank

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