Carver Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered stock savings bank. Carver was founded in 1948 in Harlem to serve African-American communities whose residents, businesses, and institutions had limited access to mainstream financial services. Carver has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) because of its community-focused banking services and dedication to the economic viability and revitalization of under-served neighborhoods. Carver is the largest African- and Caribbean-American run bank in the United States, with 10 full-service branches in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.
Carver engages in a range of consumer and commercial banking services. It provides deposit products, including demand, savings and time deposits for consumers, businesses, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies. In addition, Carver originates loans for the purchase or refinance of multi-family residential, mixed-use and commercial properties; originates or participates in construction and renovation loans for commercial property and multi family or mixed-used developments; and provides loans to small business, non-profit and faith based organizations. For consumers who may not want a traditional bank account, Carver offers Carver Community Cash. This expansion includes cashing checks, paying bills, send or receive Western Union money transfers, purchase discounted money orders and prepaid VISA debit card.
Carver was named after agricultural researcher and scientist, George Washington Carver, and began its operations at 53 West 125th Street in 1948. The original founders of the bank revered Mr. Carver, who used his immense talent to improve the economic status of his community, race, and all of mankind, and the late John Terry, Sr. who used his business to improve the opportunities of African Americans in his community. On November 5, 1948, Carver received a federal bank charter under the name of Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association. On January 5, 1949, it opened its first branch office in Harlem, New York at 53 West 125th Street. In February 1961, Carver opened a second branch in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In June 1975, a third branch was opened in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. In July 1982, Carver merged with Allied Federal Bank. Carver became a federal savings bank and changed its name to Carver Federal Savings Bank in 1986. Today, the Bank manages ten full-service branches and fourteen ATM Centers in Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Fort Greene, Harlem, East Harlem, Jamaica and St. Albans.
From its inception, the goal of Carver was to foster community growth by providing local residents a place to obtain mortgages to buy homes, and grow businesses within the communities it serves. 100% of Carver's multi-family loans are within low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. Eighty percent of Carver's deposits are invested in the neighborhoods that it serves. Over the last two years, Carver has provided $200 million in community development, commercial real estate, and small business loans. In addition, Carver provides free financial empowerment workshops and tax preparation services. Carver's strong devotion to community is represented in the company's slogan: "Building Wealth Block by Block." The logo of Carver Federal Savings Bank is represented by two conjoined "C"'s which is meant to express the nexus of Carver and the Communities it serves. Carver has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution ("CDFI") because of Carver's community-focused banking services and dedication to the economic viability and revitalization of underserved neighborhoods. A measure of its progress in achieving this goal includes the Bank's consistent "Outstanding" Community Reinvestment Act rating.
Carver was headquartered at 75 West 125th Street in Harlem, New York until October 1992, when it was destroyed by a fire that caused it to temporarily move one block away. In March 1996, Carver returned home to a newly constructed headquarters, a four-story, state-of-the-art symbol of the economic renaissance of Harlem.
On October 24, 1994, following an IPO, the Bank became the first African-American operated bank listed on NASDAQ, with the symbol "CARV". In 1996, Carver completed its reorganization into a holding company and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carver Bancorp, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Each share of the Bank's common stock was exchanged for one share of the Bancorp common stock. On May 21, 1997, Carver listed its stock on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol "CNY". On July 2, 2007, NASDAQ approved the company's application to transfer its common stock listing from the American Stock Exchange back to NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "CARV". Carver began trading again on July 10, 2007.
From 1948 to 1968, Carver was led by Joseph E. Davis, its first President and Chief Executive Officer ("CEO"). In 1970, Richard Greene was appointed President and CEO and led Carver for the next 25 years. In 1995, Thomas Clark Jr. was appointed director, President and succeeding Richard Greene. In April 1999, Carver's Board of Directors appointed Deborah C. Wright as its second female President and CEO. She retired as CEO on December 31, 2014 and will continue to serve as third and second female Executive Chairman of the Board after the retiring Executive Chairman Yvonne F. Locklary. Effective January 1, 2015 Michael T. Pugh, the President and Chief Operating Officer succeeded Ms. Wright as CEO.
As of 2014, the Bank operates ten full-service branches and fourteen ATMs in stand-alone ATM centers in New York City. Carver has administrative offices in Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn. The company is headquartered in Harlem, New York.
The bank takes deposits, which it principally lends in the form of mortgage loans for purchase or refinance of residential and commercial properties, and for construction or renovation of commercial properties and residential housing developments. Carver is a leading lender to Houses of Worship and non-project organizations.
Carver Bancorp Inc. New York Times