“In recent months, we have focused on restructuring and building out our credit team to better position the bank for increased loan production, with an ongoing focus on credit quality, to drive profitability and to make a positive impact in the communities we serve,” says Pugh. He adds that Carver will continue to provide small business loans to help micro enterprises and small businesses seeking loan amounts under $50,000. “We are focused on offering new products and services in the near future which will be critical in attracting new customers and growing new revenue.”
In addition to more than doubling Carver’s branch footprint and increasing assets by 65%, Wright led product innovations including Carver Community Cash, which provides a suite of check cashing and related services to customers who do not have a traditional deposit-based relationship with a bank. Carver Community Cash provides access to services such as check cashing, money orders, and bill payment.Â With payday loans and check cashing storefronts becoming more popular in urban communities, and yet costing residents more in interest and fees than traditional banks, Carver Community Cash is a welcomed alternative.
Board director Robert Holland pointed out in a released statement, “A third of Carver Community Cash customers have subsequently opened deposit-based accounts with Carver, reflecting both the community need and strength of the Carver brand. Moreover, Debbie led the successful recapitalization of Carver during the depths of the credit crisis. She has been an integral part of our success and history, and we are pleased to continue to work with her as non-executive chairman.â€
Wright is transitioning in the nonprofit world, joining the Ford Foundation as a Senior Fellow in its Economic Opportunity and Assets program starting in early 2015. “I was delighted when the Ford Foundation reached out,” says Wright, noting that becoming a fellow is in keeping with the span of her whole career as it relates to encouraging economic empowerment in underserved communities.
Wright joined Carver in 1999 and was named “Community Banker of the Year” in 2003 by The American Banker. Previously, she had served as president and CEO of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone from 1996 to 1999, where she oversaw an annual operating budget of $3 million and a capital budget of $250 million, funded equally by the city, state and federal governments.
Carver has a legacy of service to New York City’s urban communities and was founded in 1948 to serve African-American residents, businesses, and institutions with limited access to mainstream financial services.