Mission, Vision and History


To be recognized as a leader by providing quality banking products/services and building relationships that enhance lives and financial futures in the communities we serve.


Seaway Bank and Trust Company is a full-service commercial bank that emphasizes quality service and community commitment. Established in 1965 as Seaway National Bank of Chicago, it was created to counter discriminatory lending practices on Chicago's South Side. The founders, a group of local businessmen, sold shares door to door throughout the community to raise the $1,000,000 in capital needed to secure the Federal charter. By the end of its first year, Seaway's assets had climbed to over $5,000,000, and the bank has grown steadily over the years.

By December 31, 2015, Seaway had more than $378 million in assets and approximately 220 employees.

We support numerous churches, schools, and community groups through charitable donations, and thanks to our partnerships with leading corporations, we are able to reinvest in our family of customers and local businesses. Our mission remains to help minority professionals and entrepreneurs obtain the financial assistance they need and to be responsive to the credit needs of our community.

  • 1965 Seaway opened for business on January 2nd in a rented storefront at 8555 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago. Permanent headquarters (Chatham Branch) at 645 E. 87th Street was opened on November 18th. Second floor was added in 1969.
  • 1974 The East Chatham Drive-Up was opened at 825 E. 87th Street. 
  • 1977 Seaway opened the first 7-day branch in Chicago at Jewel Grand Bazaar, 87th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94).
  • 1982 Seaway founder Ernest Collins retired as Board Chairman. The following year Jacoby Dickens became Board Chairman. 
  • 1983 Seaway acquired Union National Bank (now Roseland Branch) and became the largest Black-owned bank in the country. 
  • 1990 The West Chatham branch opened at 87th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94). 
  • 1992 Seaway established a Corporate Trust Department to serve public and corporate debt market.
  • 1994 Seaway established the Seaway Community Development Corporation to rebuild neighborhoods. 
  • 1997 A new branch opened in University Park (operated until 1999).
  • 1998 Seaway became the first Black-owned bank to offer online banking.
  • 2000 Seaway moved bookkeeping and data processing operations to a renovated facility on 87th Street. Seaway began Foreign Currency Exchange services in Terminal 5 at O'Hare International Airport, expanding into all terminals the following year.
  • 2001 Seaway became a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 
  • 2002 Seaway received an "outstanding" CRA rating from bank regulators and introduced a foreign currency facility at Chicago Midway Airport to accommodate the addition of international flights.
  • 2004 Seaway opened a Loan Production Office in Waukegan (expanded to full service in 2009 and closed in September 2012).
  • 2007 In May Seaway opened a new branch at 11116 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. On December 30th, Seaway National Bank received a State Charter and was renamed Seaway Bank and Trust Company.
  • 2009 Seaway opened a branch in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood in September.
  • 2010 In October, Seaway acquired First Suburban National Bank, with branches in Maywood, Broadview and Crestwood.
  • 2011 In March, Seaway acquired Legacy Bank, with one branch in Milwaukee, WI.
  • 2013 Veranda L. Dickens becomes the first female chair of the board. Seaway Bank becomes the largest Black-owned and woman-owned bank in the nation.
  • 2014 Darrell B. Jackson was appointed President and CEO of Seaway Bank in August.
  • 2015 Seaway Bank celebrated its year-long 50th Anniversary, starting on January 2nd, by hosting a special reception at the main Chatham Bank to honor customers who had been banking with Seaway since the 1960s.

Seaway Bank and Trust Company is an FDIC Member, an Equal Housing Lender, and an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Seaway Bancshares, Inc. is the bank's Holding Company.