A nationwide initiative called “Bank On” is helping people who have experienced past financial troubles join the financial mainstream by reducing barriers to banking and providing education in financial literacy. The Credit Union National Association published this report on the latest credit unions to join the effort:
Four Alabama credit unions have joined a national campaign to help consumers become more financially independent.
In south Alabama, the Bank On initiative includes more than 20 credit unions and banks that offer financial services at lower costs to the community (al.com, July 11).
Among the Alabama credit unions participating in the program:
• Army Aviation Center FCU, Daleville, with $1.1 billion in assets;
• Azalea City CU, Mobile, with $19 million in assets;
• McIntosh (Ala.) Chemical FCU, with $22 million in assets; and
• New Horizons CU, Mobile, with $208 million in assets.
Individuals who have had accounts closed because of past financial troubles or bounced checks more than six months ago may be eligible for the program. Participating financial institutions offer free checking and/or second chance accounts.
Since the first Bank On program was launched in San Francisco in 2006, this model of financial access has been refined, replicated and identified as a leading strategy for state and local officials across the United States to bring unbanked and underbanked consumers into the financial mainstream.
Bank On programs negotiate with credit unions and banks in local communities to reduce barriers to banking and increase access to the financial mainstream. Typically led by local government or state public officials, Bank On programs are voluntary, public/private partnerships between local or state government, financial institutions and community-based organizations that provide low-income, un- and underbanked people with free or low-cost starter or second-chance bank accounts and access to financial education.
Bank On Oregon is also sending a “shout out” for support from local financial institutions. “We need the participation of credit unions to make this effort a success,” David Tatman, administrator of the division of Finance and Corporate Securities, a division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, told the Northwest Credit Union Association (Anthem, July 11).
“We want to ensure there are a variety of safe and affordable products available on the Bank On Oregon website to fit the needs of Oregonians.”
Credit unions from Dubuque, Iowa; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California and Idaho are among the many that are participating in the Bank On program.