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CNote Expands Access to Capital for Community Financial Institutions With $25 Million From Apple to Support Communities of Color

CNote Expands Access to Capital for Community Financial Institutions With $25 Million From Apple to Support Communities of Color

CNote, an Oakland-based fintech, announced that Apple will use the CNote platform to deploy $25 million into underserved communities across the country.

Apple’s $25 million commitment is part of its broader Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, an effort to address systemic racism in America and expand opportunities for communities of color. The new funding builds on Apple’s previously announced commitments to expand economic empowerment and support entrepreneurs of color.

“We’re committed to helping ensure that everyone has access to the opportunity to pursue their dreams and create our shared future,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “By working with CNote to get funds directly to historically under-resourced communities through their local financial institutions, we can support equity, entrepreneurship and access.”

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“Corporations have an enormous opportunity to help communities across the U.S. thrive by changing the way they manage their cash reserves, and we’re excited to see Apple at the forefront of this emerging trend,” said Catherine Berman, CEO of CNote. “Through our platform, we have already started moving Apple deposits into low-income communities and communities of color.”

Initial deposits are already at work in communities

CNote has deployed an initial round of Apple deposits to mission-driven financial institutions, including ANECA Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Bank of Cherokee County in Oklahoma; Carver State Bank in Georgia; Education Credit Union in Texas; First Southwest Bank in Colorado; Hope Credit Union, which serves Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee; Kaua’i Federal Credit Union in Hawai’i; Latino Community Credit Union in North Carolina; Legacy Bank in Missouri; Optus Bank in South Carolina; Self-Help Federal Credit Union, with locations in California, Illinois, Washington and Wisconsin; and VCC Bank in Virginia.

“Partnerships like the one we have with CNote and Apple are essential to our efforts to expand access to capital, as well as to financial products and services, in a historically underserved market,” said Susannah Plumb Scott, executive vice president at Bank of Cherokee County. The bank, formed in 1907 by a group of prominent Cherokee Nation members, invests 95% of deposits back into Cherokee County.

Eric Jenkins, president and CEO of Education Credit Union, founded by Amarillo schoolteachers in 1935, said deposits like Apple’s “allow ECU to serve more consumers and meet a broader range of needs.”

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CNote’s platform provides insured deposits across a network of vetted mission-driven financial institutions

CNote’s platform fills a gap for corporate and other institutional investors that want to support financially underserved communities across the country while generating returns on cash allocations. CNote moves client deposits into FDIC- and NCUA-insured accounts across a wide network of mission-driven deposit institutions, including community development financial institutions (CDFIs), low-income designated (LID) credit unions, and minority depository institutions (MDIs).

Funds committed through the CNote platform increase the deposit base of mission-driven banks and credit unions that serve low- to moderate-income people as well as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities. These types of deposits help fuel affordable housing and small business loans and provide a just alternative to predatory lending. Apple and other CNote clients—including Mastercard, Patagonia, PayPal and Netflix—receive quarterly impact reports that provide details on which institutions have received deposits and the populations benefiting from those investments.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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