New Resource for Communities to Meet Financial Needs of Families

New Resource for Communities to Meet Financial Needs of Families
 
By: Louisa Quittman
U.S. Treasury
 
The following information was published on Treasury Notes, the U.S. Treasury’s Blog regarding the relaunch of the Bank On Web site.
 
… with support from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco, the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) launched a redesigned national Bank On website to help communities strengthen the financial well-being of local residents by bringing them into the financial mainstream.
 
The website, www.joinbankon.org, provides free resources for community leaders to better meet the financial needs of residents by connecting them with free or low-cost, safe and reliable financial services through banks, credit unions and other educational resources. Since 2006, locally-led Bank On programs – collaborative partnerships among local governments, financial institutions and nonprofits – have worked to help the 30 million unbanked and underbanked American families better manage their money and plan for their futures.

Unbanked and underbanked households are mostly low-income workers who find it difficult to build savings and assets, which leaves them financially vulnerable when emergencies arise. Additionally, they are more likely to have their money lost, stolen or eaten away by high-cost financial products and services. Bank On initiatives not only connect these unbanked individuals to free or low-cost accounts, they also aim to raise public awareness and expand access to financial education.

Some of the resources on www.joinbankon.org include:

  • Tools to help research your community, including customizable data about the un- and underbanked population in your town, county, region or state.
  • Discussion forums where members can ask questions, share best practices and learn more about promoting financial access in their communities.
  • Downloadable resources where users can share materials useful at every stage in the development of a Bank On program.
  • Guides to help users start a program, including step-by-step instructions and recommendations for how to bring Bank On to your area.
  • Banking On Opportunity, a report on the state of the Bank On field and detailed case studies from two Bank On programs.
  • News & Events, highlighting what’s going on around the country in regards to financial access and economic inclusion.

Louisa Quittman is Director of Community Programs for Treasury’s Office of Financial Education and Financial Access.

 

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