Pathways to prosperity: expanding our commitment to banks supporting underserved communities

February 10, 2023

Mizuho Bank (USA), a subsidiary of Mizuho Americas, has expanded its efforts to support Minority Depository Institutions and U.S. Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institutions, which provide affordable credit, capital, and financial services to historically underserved communities. In total, Mizuho has deposited $45 million in three New York City mission-based financial institutions, an increase of $30 million over the previous year.

“Our partner banks were chosen for their excellence in allocating much-needed investments in under resourced communities in New York,” said Ms. Noriko Ito, President and CEO of Mizuho Bank (USA). “These outstanding firms are providing pathways to prosperity that hopefully have an exponential effect, creating jobs, opportunity, and economic stability with far-reaching societal benefits.”

The three institutions are:

Ponce Bank, a Minority Depository Institution and a Community Development Financial Institution, founded in the Bronx in 1960, at a time when the borough was severely underserved by other financial institutions. The bank has since expanded into immigrant communities throughout greater New York City. In November 2022, Mizuho Bank (USA) made a $20 million deposit in Ponce Bank. The capital helped fund projects such as construction of an eight-story, mixed-use elevator building providing Affordable Independent Residences for Seniors (AIRS).

“We value Mizuho’s appreciation, commitment, and support for the economic opportunity MDI’s, such as Ponce Bank, represent,” said Frank Perez, Chief Investor Relations Officer, of Ponce Bank. “This investment will allow Ponce Bank to leverage its capital to have a greater impact in promoting and preserving our mission to provide credit and financial services to the low-to-moderate income communities we have been serving for over 60 years.” 

Ponce Bank made a $12.3 million loan to Optimus Property Corp. to help fund construction of this AIRS-designated, Bronx building that will have a ground floor of commercial retail and 50-Rent Stabilized studio, one-bed and two-bed apartments on the upper floors.

Spring Bank, a community bank located in the South Bronx and dedicated to providing affordable financial products and services to underserved communities throughout New York City. In December, Mizuho Bank (USA) made a $10 million deposit in Spring Bank. The capital helped fund projects such as helping Empire Tool Rental, a construction equipment and tool rental, service, and sales company, get the resources they needed to acquire the property they now occupy.

At the workbench at Empire Tool Rental. The company recently acquired Air Tool Sales and Repair Company, the oldest air tool repair company in New York City.

“We are grateful to Mizuho Bank for its investment in our community. It is always a challenge for CDFI banks with branches in low-income communities to generate deposits that funds loans to individuals and small businesses in our neighborhood in the South Bronx,” said Demetris Giannoulias, CEO, Spring Bank. “The Mizuho Bank deposit helps us do this”.

Carver Federal Savings Bank, one of the largest African- and Caribbean-American managed banks, was founded in 1948 to serve African-American communities whose residents, businesses, and institutions had limited access to mainstream financial services. In December 2022, Mizuho Bank (USA) made a $15 million deposit in Carver, a bank reporting that 80 cents of every dollar received is reinvested in the community, helping fund projects that have resulted in, among other projects, financial literacy programming for over 16,000 individuals and small businesses, as well as access to $50 million in capital for small businesses that resulted in the preservation of more than 5,000 jobs.

"By partnering with Mizuho, Carver can deliver more services and scale faster in ways we wouldn't have been able to otherwise," said Michael Pugh, President and CEO, Carver Bancorp. "This helps us provide valuable credit to qualified businesses and individuals in the community that creates employment and opportunity."

Angela Price (left) from The Black Cake Company was the first recipient of a Carver small business microloan.

Collectively, these deposits serve to further Mizuho’s commitment to purpose-driven corporate citizenship and diversity, equity, and inclusion that promotes broad economic and social progress.

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