Founded in 1907, the Mechanics and Farmers Bank (M&F Bank) and the second-oldest bank in the nation founded by African Americans has reopened for business after renovations.
According to ABC 11 News, the M&F Bank held its 113th-year celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the original Mechanics and Farmers Bank building located on West Parrish Street in downtown Durham, the historic Black Wall Street District.
The original Mechanics and Farmers Bank was built at a time when African Americans struggled to find a bank to safely deposit money and accumulate interest. In 1975, the building was declared a national historic landmark.
“There’s an unbelievable wealth gap, and so, our bank has been able to provide access to capital to business to nonprofits to consumers. And, over the past 113 years, we’ve probably provided about $1.4 billion in loans to the communities where we are located,” M&F Bank President and CEO James Sills told CBS 17.
After decades of survival, its original location, which downsized to 1,500 square feet sports a new and updated look, according to CBS 17. While downsizing was an effort to remain competitive with the increase in online banking usage, M&F Bank remains true to its original mission.
Over the years, M&F Bank has even expanded and withstood the test of time by opening multiple branches in the North Carolina area, including its headquarters, to continue to serve its community.