Today in History: First Bank for Blacks

In 1888, the first bank organized for Blacks was the Capital Savings Bank of Washington D.C.

After the demise of Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, it would take 14 years for African Americans to rally behind another bank. Just four years after it opened, its deposits had grown to over $300,000.

Capital Savings Bank provided the capital essential to the growth of black businesses, capital that white-owned banks were unwilling to lend.

The community proudly deposited its money in Capital Savings Bank. The public’s confidence in Capital was rock solid in the early days, enabling the bank to exert a strong, positive economic impact on the community it served.

During the Panic of 1893, the bank rode out the tide and was able to honor every obligation on demand. Capital Savings Bank helped many African-American businesses and property owners until it closed in 1902. 

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