In the rural Mississippi Delta region, many banks are turning away from individuals, small businesses and communities, depriving them of basic financial services and access to capital. But one regional bank is stepping forward with an ambitious goal: to cut poverty and unemployment in half while doubling graduation rates in underserved communities. Since 1988, Southern Bancorp has funded more than $1.7 billion in development loans in the Delta. These investments have transformed rural economies by creating new trends for investment in people, jobs, businesses and property.

With three FDIC-insured banks and three not-for-profit organizations, Southern Bancorp can work at both the grassroots level and the community and government level to drive fundamental community change. It uses donations to its Southern Good Faith Fund to help hard-working people file their taxes for free, repair their credit, develop new economic skills, save for college education, plan for home ownership and launch small businesses.

Through our Mission-Driven Investment program, we’re helping fuel the growth of this leading rural development institution. Our $5 million investment in preferred and common equity will help Southern Bancorp continue to provide financial services to more than 80,000 low-income residents. An additional $4 million insured cash deposit will support community development efforts in rural Mississippi.