A new Black-owned financial institution could emerge west of Texas.

The Sacramento Observer reports that the Black-led investment group Redemption Holding Co. (RHC), led by former White House Policy Advisor Ashley D. Bell, wants to acquire Holladay Bank & Trust in Holladay, UT.

If planning is approved, the Utah financial institution will be renamed Redemption Bank, per the outlet. What’s more, it would become Black-owned and serve as the only Minority Depository Institution, which offers financial services to underserved populations, west of Texas. 

As CEO of Black-owned fintech startup Ready Life, Bell helps underserved communities start on the path to homeownership. “All of us require a bank to operate, and the reality was there was no Black-owned bank that we could sit on top of to operate with the way we’re currently constructed,” he told The Sacramento Observer. 

He continued, “Therefore, we are dependent on other communities and banks to allow us to do that service. So the goal and thinking was we need to own a bank that has the technological ability to serve fintech owners, but also be dynamic.”

Dr. Bernice A. King, the youngest child of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King as well as CEO of the King Center, will aid in RHC’s efforts. The Wall Street Journal reports that she will join the bank’s advisory board along with venture capitalist Dhani Jones. King will serve as the senior vice president for impact banking.

Reinforcing her decision to support the endeavor, King subtly references her father’s speech from April 3, 1968, in which he urged Black Americans to deposit their money into Black-owned financial institutions.

“More than half a century of struggle and incremental progress later, we’re making good on daddy’s call to bank-in by creating new centers of opportunity for people of color, starting with this Black-led bank acquisition,”  King told The Wall Street Journal.

Joining the push to make Holladay Bank & Trust Black-owned, are investors, including New York Community Bank and billionaire Ryan Smith.

“Once we get the bank charter done, I think we’ll be game on,” Bell told The Sacramento Observer. “We’re trying something that’s never happened before. There’s never been a group of Black investors to buy a non-Black bank, a white-owned bank, especially one that is as extraordinarily homogeneous as Salt Lake City.”