Bank On South Alabama Attends & Presents at the 2018 Prosperity Now Summit
The September 2018 Prosperity Summit in Washington, D.C. provided a platform for diverse stakeholders to weigh in on financial product design, and a space for all the attendees to connect on issues around financial empowerment. Bank On South Alabama’s (BOSA) Fellow, Katherine Pitman, attended and presented information about our coalition here in Southwest Alabama.
The panel discussion, What’s New and What’s Next in Bank On Initiatives, was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. Katherine and the other panelists, David Rothstein, Cities For Financial Empowerment Fund, and Yvonne Green, Bank On Houston, provided updates on what we’ve learned from Bank On efforts to date and what’s new in Bank On initiatives and approaches, including Bank On certified accounts.
Since the BOSA region includes many rural communities, Katherine’s story was unique in its approach. BOSA’s eight-county region encompasses roughly 277,000 households, 9% of those are unbanked and 26% are underbanked. The low- and moderate-income (LMI) citizens in our region often choose alternative financial services (AFS) over banks and credit unions for convenience because transportation is not always available and the predatory AFS, including payday loans and check cashing services, are easily accessible.
In our August newsletter, we announced that the BOSA coalition has three financial institutions (FIs) with certified National Account Standard (NAS) products that can serve our LMI community: The First, Iberia Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Financial Education Opportunities for Snook Youth Club and Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama
This summer volunteers from BOSA FI partners participated in two youth programs, providing the children with valuable financial skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. Community Bank, The First, Iberia Bank, Regions Bank, Trustmark Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank participated in the Boys And Girls Club Summer Enrichment Program. They provided financial literacy classes at four of the clubs over a five-week period. Volunteers went once a week for an hour to teach skills such as saving, budgeting, needs vs wants, entrepreneurship, etc. to middle and high school students in Mobile County. Two-hundred-and-sixty-six students received financial education.
Volunteers from The First, PNC Bank, Trustmark Bank, United Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank participated in the Snook Youth Club Summer Youth Program. Volunteers provided financial literacy classes to 93 Baldwin County students ages 7-10 over an eight-week period.
Thank you to all of our volunteer FI partners for you help in providing these students with the tools they need to become financially confident young adults. If you are a financial institution and would like to volunteer, or you are a community organization and need financial education for your clients, please contact Katherine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-431-0115.
September 12 Community Partner Roundtable
BOSA hosted two community partner roundtables on September 12, 2018—one in Mobile and another in Foley. The purpose of these events was to inform community organizations in the BOSA eight-county region about Bank On 2.0, and how it can compliment the work they do every day. Bank On 2.0 is a three-part process: 1) coalitions work with (FIs) to create a safe and affordable account that conforms to the Bank On National Account Standards (NAS), 2) they identify community organizations and government entities that either have a payment stream or a goal of helping their clients achieve financial stability, and 3) they connect the FIs with the community organizations to ensure access to the NAS accounts for their employees and clients.
Twenty-seven different organizations that serve clients in Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties attended the meetings.