SouthState Invests $500,000 in Optus Bank to Help Close Racial Wealth Divide
“Fulfilling our commitment to closing the opportunity gaps in our communities requires strategic investments from mission-aligned partners like SouthState. With support of their equity investment, we have raised a total of $17 million in new capital since 2020 and grown our assets to nearly $300 million,” said Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank president & CEO. “Deploying this capital into underserved communities, minority owned homes and businesses to create generational wealth is Optus Bank’s mission and mandate.”
There are more than 5,000 banks in the U.S., but Optus is one of only 35 that is both an MDI and CDFI bank.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), 22 percent of Americans are considered unbanked or underbanked, meaning that they do not have a checking, savings or money market account, or they use some form of alternative financial services, such as check cashing services, payday loans, paycheck advance or similar services.
The unbanked and underbanked are more likely to have low income, less education or be in a racial or ethnic minority group, the FDIC states.
More than 90 percent of Optus’ assets are invested in communities of color, and Optus is focused on offering innovative ways to manage, move, save and borrow money for individuals and small businesses, with the goal of ensuring that wealth building is not just for the wealthy.
SouthState Corporation (NASDAQ: SSB) is a financial services company headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida. South State Bank, N.A., the company’s nationally chartered bank subsidiary, provides consumer, commercial, mortgage and wealth management solutions to more than one million customers throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. The bank also serves clients coast to coast through its correspondent banking division. Additional information is available at SouthStateBank.com.