The Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC), the United States of America’s banking regulator, has approved the changing of the name of the Illinois Service Federal (ISF) Bank to GN Bank, USA.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South Side Chicago-based ISF Bank, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, announced this at the annual Customer Appreciation Gala of the bank held in Chicago last Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
The ISF Bank was started in 1934 by 13 black men.
There was no American bank focusing on the African-Caribbean market and the intention was to turn the 84-year-old Chicago bank into a local and international powerhouse, Dr Nduom stated.
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In 1934, 13 black men started the Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loans Association.
‘’We know that it was black women who ran the bank and made it work. The ISF Bank, as it has come to be known, has supported many to acquire their first homes and start their own businesses,” he further stated.
On April 29, 2016, the Nduom family obtained change of control approval from the OCC to acquire the bank.
According to Dr Nduom, “Since then, new capital, directors and management personnel have been added to diversify and strengthen corporate governance”.
“I am pleased to note that the ISF Bank has become safer, more stable and ready and able to serve this community for several more decades unlimited to come,” he said.
He said some more positive changes to come included the determination to grow the bank to become a $1-billion strong national financial institution headquartered on the south side of Chicago.
He said in July this year, the bank intended to introduce its own mobile banking wallet product called PayGlobal.
“We plan to work hard to convince merchants in our community to accept payments using this product, so that you do not have to carry cash with you,” he indicated.
Dr Nduom said his family had developed an internationally known banking brand called GN Bank, which started off as a savings and loans company and had grown to become an international bank with more than 300 branches.
“We believe the time has come to bring that brand here to give assurance that this bank is here to stay and will remain African-American owned,” he stated.
Accordingly, on behalf of the shareholders, Dr Nduom thanked the members of the board of directors for their diligent work and the employees for dealing positively with challenges they had faced.