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Racial inequality in banking is a huge problem. Killer Mike thinks he has a solution

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.8%. 1 min read.

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 15: Rapper Killer Mike of Run the Jewels performs onstage during weekend two, day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)

Michael Render — the Atlanta rapper better known as Killer Mike — says he got an early lesson in personal finance from his mom and grandfather, who bought him and his sister stock in Delta and Coca-Cola, two of Atlanta's largest employers, before he was old enough to drive.

Render, along with longtime friend Ryan Glover, is responding to a dire need in communities across the United States for a modern, Black- and Latinx-owned digital banking platform.

The FDIC says minority-owned banks have been risky business ventures since the financial collapse of 2008, which decimated the Black and Brown communities those banks rely on for business.

Minority-owned depository institutions have a better track record than mainstream consumer banks of lending to Black and Brown businesses owners, according to the FDIC, but attracting enough clients and generating enough capital to stay in business has proven to be too challenging for some of those institutions.

The minority-owned banks that Greenwood plans to partner with are smaller institutions with limited resources, said David Tapscott, the company's chief marketing officer.

And Render says Greenwood is in a prime position to capitalize on the American cultural movement toward Black financial empowerment, fueled by the 2020 protests over the killing of Black Americans by police.

Both Render and Glover acknowledge the reason so many people are excited about Greenwood is, in part, because they know and trust Killer Mike, who has emerged in recent years as the unofficial steward of the Black financial empowerment movement.

Render says he's determined not to join the ranks of others who have tried and failed to keep minority-owned banks alive.

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