The Kojo Nnamdi Show: Banking deserts: why some local neighborhoods lack basic financial services

The Kojo Nnamdi Show, April 26, 2018: Banking deserts: why some local neighborhoods lack basic financial services

Recently, several large banks have been called out for discriminatory lending practices, including not serving low income areas. For many of those residents, banking services like those offering personal bank accounts, loans for homes and small businesses–can be difficult to access. But some banks in our region, like Industrial Bank, have made their focus serving those communities. Listen to our guests explore what it means to live in a “banking desert.”


  • Jesse Van Tol CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition; @jessevantol
  • Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz Associate Director, Capital Area Asset Builders; @CAAB_GreaterDC
  • Jacquie Boles Senior Vice President, Director of Retail Banking; @BankIndustrial
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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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