City First Bank is the first CDFI and only bank focused solely on community development in the nation’s capital; and with our merger with Broadway Federal in Los Angeles, CA, we are continuing our legacy of pioneering financial health in low-to-moderate income communities, as the largest Black-led bank in the nation.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serve urban and rural communities that lack access to credit and consumer financial services. Working in partnership with local communities, CDFIs promote revitalization and access to capital among those that are often left out of the economic mainstream – low and moderate income communities as well as individuals because of race, ethnicity, recent immigration status or lack of financial sophistication. To be eligible for technical or financial assistance from the government, the U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund has a review process used to qualify for CDFI certification.
All certified CDFI institutions, both bank and non-bank, must demonstrate that at least 60% of our total lending, services, and other activities benefit low-income communities. While most CDFIs are non-profit, some CDFIs like CityFirst are commercial banks with tighter regulatory controls and FDIC insurance. Bank CDFIs have a primary mission of promoting community development and generally focus on lending for affordable housing, business operations for disadvantaged small companies and non-profit organizations, and real estate lending for community facilities. We are distinct from traditional banks not only because of the focus on lending in low- and moderate-income markets, but also because we make smaller loans with multiple layers of financing and generally can provide more flexible terms and conditions.
For more information on our certifications, designations and affiliations see our Impact Network.
Yes. We are a for-profit bank and we reinvest all of our profits in community development. As a bank, an important source of the funding needed to meet our mission comes from deposits from individuals and companies in the community. Our responsibility as a bank and to those who deposit funds with us is to ensure that our business is sustainable.
Yes. Please see our publicly available records at the Federal Financials Institution Examination Council.
City First Bank makes commercial loans, that is, loans to businesses and non-profit organizations, or loans to individuals for business purposes. For example, we make loans to finance the acquisition and renovation of real estate, to businesses and nonprofits that want to purchase their own building or expand into more real estate. We also make non-real estate secured loans to small businesses for equipment, business expansion, or receivables-based lines of credit. We do not currently make personal loans.
Not necessarily. At any given moment, a percentage of our loan portfolio is “non-mission.” This allows us the flexibility to diversify risk in our loan portfolio and to address market demand. However, as a certified Community Development Financial Institution, the majority of our lending is in low- and moderate-income areas. See Our Impact for more information.
We do not make grants; our financing options are in the form of loans.
Our investors include many mission-aligned partners. Broadway Financial Corporation is the bank holding company of City First Bank. Broadway Financial Corporation is a publicly traded Public Benefit Corporation, which includes public and private investors in the bank. Many larger banks have invested with CityFirst to meet their Community Reinvestment Act requirements.
City First Bank launched with $9.4 million invested from public and private sources, including Georgetown University, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Fannie Mae, the Cooperative Assistance Fund, National Community Investment Fund and the federal and DC governments. These investors and others continue to support City First Bank.
City First Bank is a commercial community development financial institution and we do not make residential home mortgages. You may learn more about affordable homeownership with our partner, Homes By CFE.
City First Bank offers online banking, a mobile app and telephone banking to make it convenient for you to handle your banking needs without having to come into a branch. Our customers also have surcharge free access to 55,000+ ATMs through the Allpoint network and through our partnership with Citibank.
When you open an account with City First Bank, your money is insured by the FDIC, up to $250,000 and we have IntraFi CDARs and ICS solutions for accounts that may exceed that amount. Plus, with CityFirst you get the added benefit of knowing that your money strengthens community enterprises, creates jobs, and preserves and develops affordable housing and educational opportunities.
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Please contact us for your current Commercial Accounts Fee Schedule.
Please contact us for your current Personal Accounts Fee Schedule.
For more information, or to request a copy of our Truth in Savings Act Disclosure, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see if you currently qualify, please contact us.
We make the process as simple as possible, providing applicants with an SBA Loan Kit. CityFirst then analyzes the application using the following factors to determine eligibility:
- management experience;
- experience in the industry in which the business operates;
- credit worthiness;
- investment in the business;
- ability to repay the loan based on the business’ projected cash flow and profits.
We can even determine if you are “pre-qualified” for an SBA Loan in just five business days. SBA Loans, for up to $3 million, have competitive interest rates and help businesses finance everything from:
- the purchase of commercial real estate;
- construction and renovation;
- the acquisition of furniture, fixtures or machinery.
SBA Loans are generally divided into two categories:
- 7(a) General Loan Program, the most common type of SBA financing available. Proceeds from a 7(a) loan can be used for almost any business need including: the purchase of commercial real estate; construction, renovation or leasehold improvements; acquisition of furniture, fixtures, machinery or equipment; inventory purchase; and working capital.
- SBA 504 Loan Program, geared toward businesses requiring long-term, fixed-rate financing to purchase major fixed assets including: land; buildings; machinery; and equipment. The benefits of the 504 Loan Program include lower required equity, longer repayment periods, and lower effective interest rates.
According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, “The fundamental importance of wealth for economic security and general wellbeing makes the large disparities in wealth by race a serious concern for the economic health of families and the U.S. economy as a whole. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis find that the median white family had $184,000 in wealth in 2019 compared to just $38,000 and $23,000 for the median Hispanic and Black families, respectively.
“…Moreover, their analysis shows that the median wealth gap between white and Black families has hardly changed over the last 20 years. Meanwhile, the gap between white and Hispanic families has improved slightly, but it remains large.”