As part of WilmerHale’s enduring commitment to the cause of greater racial equity, the firm has reached agreements with two Minority Depository Institutions to place a portion of its cash deposits with them.
The firm’s decision to establish banking relationships with Carver Federal Savings Bank, based in New York, and Industrial Bank, headquartered in Washington DC, creates partnerships with two financial institutions whose continued vitality is critical to the communities they serve.
Through these new business relationships the firm will provide additional resources the financial institutions can deploy to promote economic development in their communities.
While many financial institutions are committed to the neighborhoods in which they operate, Minority Depository Institutions have long had a special sense of mission, helping their customers who, due to the nation’s tragic history of racial prejudice, found it difficult or impossible to obtain business loans or mortgages elsewhere.
Besides their legal status of Minority Depository Institutions, both Industrial and Carver are certified Community Development Financial Institutions, with most of their depository and lending activities in disadvantaged communities. Each customizes its services with an understanding of the particular circumstances of each individual or business customer, and places significant emphasis on improving financial literacy in their communities, especially among young people and the underbanked. They also serve the more complex needs of large municipal agencies and corporations.
As Minority Depository Institutions in the 21st Century have sought to continue providing financial services to customers who all too often could not get them at reasonable prices or at all from other financial institutions, the number of banks that are predominantly Black-owned or managed has dwindled to 18, half of what existed 15 years ago. It is against this backdrop that WilmerHale has begun its partnership with Carver and Industrial.
“We look forward to advancing our partnerships with Carver and Industrial and exploring how we can further support each other and leverage our mutual efforts for the benefit of our businesses and communities,” said Robert Novick, WilmerHale’s co-managing partner.
“We are honored to have WilmerHale as a new customer, among the long list of corporate partners that recognize Carver’s commitment to economic development in communities of color,” said Michael T. Pugh, president and CEO of Carver Federal Savings Bank. “Our focus on reinvesting in the communities that we serve and our commitment to Minority and Women Business Entrepreneurs is made possible by having significant banking relationships with like-minded customers such as WilmerHale.”
B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., president and CEO of Industrial Bank, said, “Industrial Bank’s commitment to closing the racial wealth gap and providing the financial tools to help the communities we serve build generational wealth is strengthened by aligned partnerships. We are excited about the impact the financial support and newly developed partnership with WilmerHale will have on our community.”
Since its earliest days, WilmerHale has been guided by an unwavering commitment to equal justice and racial equality. After the murder of George Floyd and subsequent national racial reckoning spurred by that horrific act, the firm expanded its efforts with a Racial Justice and Reform Initiative that adds a growing list of pro bono matters involving civil rights, police reform, voting rights and economic access to a legacy of work that has spanned death penalty cases, marriage equality, asylum, family separation, disability rights and educational opportunity, among many other issues.
For more information, please contact: Frank James, WilmerHale Media Strategist, 202 247 3560 or [email protected]
About Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
WilmerHale provides legal representation across a comprehensive range of practice areas that are critical to the success of its clients. The law firm’s leading Intellectual Property, Litigation/Controversy, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Securities and Financial Services, and Transactional Departments participate in some of the highest-profile legal and policy matters. With a staunch commitment to public service, the firm is renowned as a leader in pro bono representation. WilmerHale is 1,000 lawyers strong with 13 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit wilmerhale.com.