ST LOUIS, MO (February 14, 2023) – In moving toward achieving health equity in Missouri and ensuring that its work is focused on breaking down long-standing societal barriers, Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) is announcing an investment of $10 million in St. Louis Community Credit Union’s (SLCCU) Community Impact Deposit program. The funds will be used to enable a range of consumer loans, payday-loan alternatives, and home loans, as well as a wide variety of business loans from $10,000 to $5 million. Basic banking and loan services are a key element to social mobility in the U.S., and lack of access to these financial pillars is yet another way that Black and Latino Americans have been held back from building wealth for themselves and their descendants.
St. Louis Community Credit Union has served the St. Louis region for more than eight decades as one of the few Black-owned minority depository institutions in the Midwest and is one of the largest Black-owned credit unions in the country. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, the institution is committed to building the financial capacity and capability of all its members, focusing special attention on financially underserved communities.
Like any depository institution, SLCCU depends on the savings of its account holders to be able to lend and sustain its operations. The organization’s ability to grow depends on the economic well-being of its average deposit account holder. At SLCCU, the average member has 33% of the savings of members at peer institutions, which are predominantly comprised of white households. This disparity in personal savings means that, despite its relatively large membership base, SLCCU is hundreds of millions of dollars smaller in total assets than its peers. This is a manifestation of the racial wealth divide.
Access to banking is not guaranteed in the U.S., and yet it is a gateway to financial tools that facilitate one’s ability to receive a paycheck, pay bills, establish credit, purchase a car, and build wealth through the accumulation of equity and income by borrowing for a home or business.
“The reality is, your financial health is deeply tied to your physical health, in both visible and invisible ways. This investment represents a new and different approach for us to foster systems change and a more equitable region,” said Dr. Dwayne Proctor, MFH’s President and CEO. “We’re joining an impressive list of partners involved in the Community Impact Deposit program, including BJC Healthcare. We hope that our participation encourages additional organizations to join us.”
“For more than 80 years, our institution has worked to build and maintain trust with families and communities that have been excluded from mainstream banking. We realize there are many communities, particularly communities of color, which have lost out on the opportunity to build and accumulate generational wealth because of barriers created in our economy,” said Kirk D. Mills, President and CEO of SLCCU. “While St. Louis Community Credit Union has done a great deal of work to turn the tides, it takes strategic partnerships with anchor institutions like Missouri Foundation for Health to ensure that we have adequate lending capital to meet community needs.”
Missouri Foundation for Health