Minority Depository Institution Workstream

Project REACh: Removing Barriers to Financial Inclusion


Minority Depository Institutions are on the frontlines serving the needs of low-income, minority, rural, and other underserved communities. They know their communities better than anyone and understand where the needs, gaps, and opportunities are.
— Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu

Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) are critical to the economic vitality and financial wellbeing of the low-income and underserved individuals, families, and small businesses in the communities they serve, but have long faced challenges in accessing capital and meeting the needs of their customers. These challenges have caused many MDIs to close, fail, or be acquired by bigger banks. This makes the remaining MDIs even more important because they often are the only financial institution fulfilling the financial needs of their minority communities.

What We Do

The Minority Depository Institution Workstream addresses the challenges for minority-owned banks to access capital, expand technology capabilities, and modernize infrastructure. MDIs typically serve economically challenged communities that are traditionally underserved by the banking industry and other businesses. The Project REACh Minority Depository Institution Workstream is working to:

  • Provide targeted technical assistance to MDIs.
  • Expand executive development programs for MDIs.
  • Improve access for MDIs to cost effective, shared services.
  • Establish revenue-generating partnerships and collaborations for MDIs.
  • Facilitate collaboration between MDI leaders and their critical service providers.

What We’ve Done

The Minority Depository Institution Workstream has strengthened and supported MDIs by:

  • Developing an MDI Pledge signed by 25 banks to strengthen MDIs through investment, technical assistance, business opportunities, executive training, and other resources.
  • Encouraging large bank investment in MDIs.
  • Offering online technical assistance webinars and self-directed learning curriculum developed by REACh participants for MDIs at no cost.
  • Securing nearly $500 million in investments committed to MDIs.

Where We’re Going

The Project REACh Minority Depository Institution Workstream aims to create opportunities and partnerships to support the preservation and promotion of MDIs. Current initiatives include:

  • Offering MDI executives access to a REACh stakeholder’s Board Effectiveness training program.
  • Creating a shared talent platform to help MDIs close existing talent gaps.
  • Connecting MDIs with core service providers to explore ways providers can help support MDIs and their critical mission.
  • Developing resources and technical assistance supporting MDI strategic planning and capital deployment strategies.