Black Investor Group Redemption Holding Company Makes Historic Acquisition of a Non-Minority Commercial Bank

Black Investor Group Redemption Holding Company Makes Historic Acquisition of a Non-Minority Commercial Bank

Redemption Holding Company (RHC) announced its agreement to purchase Utah-based Holladay Bank and Trust, marking the first time in American history that an existing commercial bank would become a Black-owned Minority Depository Institution (MDI) through acquisition. RHC will become the only Black-owned bank serving the Mountain West, pending federal regulatory approval.

Former White House Policy Advisor and Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Ashley D. Bell will serve as RHC’s executive chairman and chief executive officer. Dr. Bernice A. King, the daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, will serve as the bank’s senior vice president of corporate strategy and alliances and also sit on its advisory board alongside director, co-founder, former NFL player, and investor, Dhani Jones. Bell and King previously co-founded the National Black Bank Foundation, which has steered $600 million of deal flow into Black banks since 2020.

“Black banks make the American dream possible for all Americans by deploying resources that uniquely address the financial realities of communities that have been systematically excluded, overcharged, and under-capitalized for hundreds of years,” Redemption Holding Company CEO Bell said. “Redemption will serve as a lifeline to the next wave of Black and Brown first-time home buyers and small business entrepreneurs across the country.”

RHC’s formation and pending regulatory approval will reverse a negative trend a half-century in the making for America’s Black-owned banking sector.

In 1976, 50 Black-owned banks were spread across the United States, each working to inject capital and opportunity into disadvantaged and underbanked communities. As of 2020, there were only 18 Black-owned banks still operating; two years later, just 16 remained, according to the FDIC. Redemption will become the 17th Black-owned bank, playing a leading role in ending decades of retrenchment by capital-starved Black banks.

“In my father’s last public address on April 3, 1968, he preached the imperative to accelerate the financial inclusion of Black Americans by supporting mission-driven Black banks — something he called a ‘bank-in movement,'” Dr. Bernice King said. “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. Redemption is just that: delivering families from the cycle of unjust financial exclusion and intergenerational poverty.”

As of December 31, 2022, Holladay Bank and Trust, which was established in 1974, had approximately $68 million in total assets and $56 million in total deposits. Its current management and staff will remain upon conversion to Redemption and be complemented by an experienced management team and RHC’s world-class board of finance and technology experts. Initial investors in RHC include a growing number of Black doctors, lawyers, and business leaders from across the country.

In addition to the continued offering of Holladay’s core products, RHC will work with other MDIs to facilitate national large-scale lending opportunities; leverage technology to create a full-service digital banking platform for its customers; offer SBA lending; and offer loan origination providing mortgages in partnership with major national lending institutions.

Performance Trust Capital Partners, LLC serves as financial advisor to RHC. Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP serves as legal counsel to RHC; Parsons, Behle & Latimer PC serves as legal counsel to Holladay.