United Ways of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties announce the launch of Bank On South Florida, an asset-building campaign for individuals to increase their financial stability.
The campaign focuses on low-income households who are either unbanked (no checking or savings account) or under-banked (have an account, but continue to rely on alternative financial services), in order to strengthen their financial future through financial education and affordable bank accounts.
Bank On South Florida is part of a national Bank On campaign currently operating in more than 100 local communities. Bank On South Florida represents a regional tri-county coalition of nonprofit community organizations and financial institutions under the leadership of the three United Ways.
“An average unbanked individual will spend $1,000 - $2,000 annually in fees simply to cash paychecks from check-cashing stores,” said Bill Mills of Florida Prosperity Partnership and Bank On Florida Director. “This is a substantial amount of money that Bank On South Florida will be helping put back into the hands of our low-income working families, and enable them to keep and grow their hard-earned dollars with mainstream banking institutions.”
The Federal Reserve Bank has estimated that there are 8.4% unbanked households and 16.8% under-banked households in the tri-county metro area. These households rely on predatory lenders, such as check-cashing stores, pay day lenders and rent-to-own stores, which prevent them from growing assets. The goal is to move them into mainstream banking relationships, providing them the ability to keep and grow assets.
Participating nonprofit community organizations will provide financial education and coaching, and work with candidates to remove any barriers or obstacles impeding a banking relationship. They will then provide candidates with a qualified referral to a participating bank or credit union. The bank or credit union will then work with those individuals, to provide affordable banking products, and work with them over time to grow their assets.
Inaugural nonprofit partners include: South Florida Urban Ministries, Hispanic Unity of Broward County, Urban League of Broward County, Housing Partnership Inc., 211 Network and Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.
Inaugural banking partners include: Bank of America, BB&T, Chase Bank, Citibank, Great Florida Bank, Iberia Bank, PNC Bank, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, Community Bank of Broward, City County Credit Union and Power Financial Credit Union.