The Abbott Sengstacke Family Papers/Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images
See All Photos

The move is the city's bid to put their money in places that will invest in their local communities

Paula Rogo
Sep, 22, 2017

The city of Chicago announced it would be depositing $20 million of its funds in the last black-owned bank in the city as a way to re-invest in the local community.

Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan was founded in 1934 in the Bronzeville neighborhood, and appeared to be heading the same direction as the now-defunct black-owned banks in the city, according to DNAInfo. And now, after a rigorous certification process, it is one of the banks that hold Chicago’s money.

“Community banks are designed with the purpose of investing and reinvesting in their community,” City Treasurer Kurt Summers said at a Monday morning news conference. “Community banks are more capable of evaluating the risks in their communities.”

The new investment now allows the bank to invest in more commercial ventures, and move beyond its traditional role as a mortgage lender for first-time homeowners. 

The bank struggled in recent years until the Nduom family, owners of the Groupe Nduom businesses in Ghana, invested $9 million and promised an overhaul of the bank in 2016.