CEO talks being ‘a lifeboat’ for members hit by pandemic

September 2, 2020

Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope FCU, Jackson, Miss., was a guest on last week’s Marketplace to talk about his credit union’s efforts to be a lifeboat for members in times of crisis. Bynum recalled growing up in segregated North Carolina and knowing of a credit union run out of a garage to help the Black community get loans when other financial institutions were closed to them.

During the interview, Bynum shared his experiences serving Black neighborhoods in the south, how members have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and more.

“We had to step in and do what we can do to provide a lifeboat. We also have been one of the more active providers of Paycheck Protection [Program] loans,” he said. “In the normal course of a year, we’ll make 40 to 50 business loans. Well, since the PPP program opened, we have made more than 2,500 loans. From 40 loans a year to 2,500.”

Bynum also discussed the bigger picture of “Black capitalism” in today’s economy, particularly the racial wealth gap.

The full episode can be heard here.