Former Footballer Takes Over Virginia’s Last Remaining Black-Owned Bank; Relaunches with New Name and Vision

Former Carolina Panthers tight end Casey Crawford became a majority stakeholder in First State Bank in June. (Images courtesy of The Charlotte Observer and the Richmond Times-Dispatch).

First State Bank is touting a new name as well as a brand new stakeholder.

The Danville, Va., bank, known as the last remaining Black-owned financial institutions in the state, revealed its new name as Movement Bank on Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Danville Register & Bee reported. Movement Mortgage CEO and former Carolina Panthers player Casey Crawford, who is white, became the majority stakeholder of the struggling bank in June and opted to give it a new name.

Bank president and CEO Tom Smith said Crawford now owns about 94 percent of the bank’s stock and will serve as chairman of the board of directors. A spokesman for the stakeholder said the bank was in “survival mode” after losing close to $75,000 in the first six months of this year. In 2015 and 2016, the institution recorded a loss of of nearly $1 million, according to the newspaper.

Crawford has since funneled some his own capital into the lender in order to help save it and prepare it for a new period of growth.

The bank is the latest financial services venture for the former Panthers tight end, who launched his successful South Carolina-based mortgage company of the same name in 2008, according to The Charlotte-Observer. Crawford’s spokesman, Adam O’Daniel, highlighted that, to date, Movement Mortgage has provided $27 million in loans to various nonprofits and community projects across the U.S.

“[Crawford] has a vision to lead a movement of change in industry, corporate culture and communities,” O’Daniel said.

It’s unclear how much Crawford paid for the First State Bank stock, but the Danville Register & Bee reported that the bank’s asset value has increased from $28 million to $39.5 million since his purchases.

A recent announcement regarding the new deal noted that while the businessman will head the institution’s board of directors, the bank will be run independently of Movement Mortgage. Day-to-day operations will be managed by bank staff and Price.

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