History of City First

Our History


Our legacy and history matters at City First Bank. We are proud of our expanded 75 year history with the merger with Broadway Federal Bank. Our founders in Los Angeles and Washington, DC were local leaders who saw a need in the community for a bank that addressed the lack of access to capital for historically excluded and disinvested urban majority minority communities. 


Broadway Federal Savings and Loan (Broadway Federal) opened its doors to its first customers on January 11th, 1947. Broadway Federal, located in Los Angeles, CA was founded by three African American entrepreneurs: H.A. Howard, a real estate broker, Dr. H. Claude Hudson, a dentist and community leader, and Paul R. Williams, the premier African American architect in the United States.  Broadway Federal’s founding was in response to lack of access to capital for homeownership for returning African American soldiers of World War II. 


Nearly fifty years later, committed community members in Washington, DC gathered in a church basement to find a solution for the same persistent lack of access to financial services for minority communities seeding the idea for City First Bank. In November 1998, City First Bank opened its doors with Debbi Hurd Baptist as CEO and Lloyd Smith as Chairman. The founding group included John Hamilton, Lloyd Smith of the Marshall Heights Community Development Corporation, Debbi Hurd Baptist of Freddie Mac, Gibson Dunn partner Chuck Muckenfuss, and Bob Moore of the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights. The bank launched with $9.4 million invested from public and private sources. In 1999, City First Bank became DC’s first bank certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).


On April 1, 2021, in the midst of a national reawakening to the systemic racial and economic disparities persisting and growing in our society, Broadway Federal Bank, f.s.b. and City First Bank, N.A. led a historic merger of equals to form the largest Black-led Minority Depository Institution (MDI) in the nation with branches in Los Angeles, CA and Washington, DC. This merger maintains the legacy of these two institutions and honors the legacy of African American Led MDIs across the country that were founded to address the unmet financing needs of the community. City FIrst Bank's intent, purpose, and execution is grounded in our 75 year history of deep commitment to economic justice through the targeted provision of capital for historically excluded and disinvested urban majority minority communities.


City First Broadway is currently chaired by Mr. Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw, who joined Broadway Federal in 2009. City First Broadway is led by Mr. Brian Argrett, our CEO, who joined City First Bank in 2011. 

The Company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “BYFC”, through our bank holding company, Broadway Financial Corporation, and is regulated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. City First Bank is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Bank’s deposits are insured up to applicable limits by the FDIC. The Bank is also a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, a US Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), an OCC designated MDI, a certified BCorp, and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).


To learn more about the historic merger of equals  visit www.cityfirstbroadwaymerger.com.


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Community Impact

Community development is at the very heart of what we do.



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U.S. Department of the Treasury Announces Broadway as One of Read more
Merger Day 1 Announcement Read more
Shareholders Approved Merger Read more
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