Over 50 Cities and Counties Offering Financial Counseling or Navigation Services To Build Resident Financial Stability During COVID-19

In this August 2020 press release, the CFE Fund announced that more than 50 city and county governments across the country will expand financial counseling and financial navigation services for their local residents in need. As part of this effort, the CFE Fund is launching a new Financial Navigators initiative, which will help 31 city and county governments newly offer their residents one-on-one remote sessions to help navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 through access to local, state, and federal resources. In addition, the CFE Fund announced an expansion of its Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) initiative, which offers professional, data-driven one-on-one financial counseling as a public service, funding additional FEC counselors and pivoting its national FEC infrastructure to accommodate remote services. This work is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

New Cities Selected to Launch Local Consumer Financial Protection Efforts

This press release announces the second cohort of the Local Consumer Financial Protection initiative, generously supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Chattanooga, TN; Detroit, MI; Philadelphia, PA; Shelby County, TN; and St. Paul, MN will begin planning a communications campaign to raise consumer awareness of and protect residents from COVID-19 related scams, and continue planning for broader consumer financial protection capabilities within the city. Local consumer financial protection is a critical component of disaster response. Each city has received a $10,000 grant, paired with a nine-month technical assistance engagement partnership to begin planning for a local consumer financial protection initiative. This process will include a structured approach to identifying critical local consumer issues, convening key stakeholders, and surveying the legal landscape that will inform the development of an actionable strategic plan.

The Citi Foundation and CFE Fund launch the sixth year of Summer Jobs Connect

This press release announces an additional $5 million in support from the Citi Foundation to provide more than 2,550 low-income youth with summer jobs and access to financial education as part of Summer Jobs Connect in 2019. Since launching in 2014, the Citi Foundation has invested over $28 million in this initiative, which has provided 13,535 young people with summer jobs and over 500,000 low-income youth with access to financial education and safe and affordable financial services. Summer Jobs Connect city partners, which include Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and eight additional cities across the country, have built these financial empowerment strategies into the infrastructure of their Summer Youth Employment Programs. The CFE Fund also launched a national social media campaign, highlighting youth and partner voices on the impact of Summer Jobs Connect, and a new SJC video.

National Banking Access Movement Convenes Stakeholders in Washington, DC

The CFE Fund’s 2019 Bank On National Conference in Washington, DC brought together key stakeholders from multiple sectors across the country: local Bank On coalition program leads and their community partners, Mayors, city administrators, tribal governments, financial institutions large and small, federal banking regulators, national nonprofit organizations, philanthropic partners, consumer advocates, and more.

The conference included a lunchtime conversation on exploring the municipal connection to Bank On with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of the City of Atlanta, GA; Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of the City of Jackson, MS; and Mayor Frank Scott Jr. of the City of Little Rock, AR.  Conference topics also included early findings from a national research study on effective communication strategies for unbanked consumers; perspectives from high-level federal banking regulators on banking access; insights from financial institutions of all sizes on investing in Bank On certified products; and best practices on banking access connectivity and integration into community programs.

Over Two Dozen Bank and Credit Union Accounts Certified as Meeting Newly Updated Bank On National Account Standards

This press release announces that 28 banks and credit unions with over 21,300 branches now offer accounts meeting Bank On National Account Standards, newly updated for 2019-2020. Low-cost, low-fee, no-overdraft financial products that meet these national Standards are now already available across all 50 states and the District of Columbia at banks and credit unions that range in size from as many as 2 branches to as few as 5,500 branches. Click here to learn more about the national Bank On movement.

Nine Local Governments Chosen to Develop Financial Counseling as a Free Public Service

This press release announces the selection of nine additional local governments to replicate the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) model under the CFE Fund’s national FEC Public platform. Selected municipalities (Atlanta, GA; Aurora, IL; Baltimore, MD; the County of Hawai’i, HI; Erie, PA; Polk County, IA; Roanoke, VA; Rochester, NY; and Washington, DC) will work to launch free, professional one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service for residents in need.

The CFE Fund, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Wells Fargo, The JPB Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and Capital One, is working to expand the FEC model to as many as 50 local governments. The CFE Fund provides grant support, intensive technical assistance, and a vibrant national learning community to help local government partners plan, launch, and sustain Financial Empowerment Centers for their residents.

To learn more about the national FEC Public initiative, visit www.fecpublic.org

CFE Fund and Wells Fargo Announce Second Cohort of Bank On Fellowship

This press release announced a $1 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to double the size of the Bank On Fellowship Program, which funds a full-time Bank On coalition leader for two years to focus solely on improving banking access for residents. The Bank On Fellowship program is the first national initiative of its kind focused on building a multi-city network of Bank On program coordinators, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts and at the same time generating best practices for other coalitions around the country.

To learn more about the Bank On Fellowship program, visit www.cfefund.org/bankon.

Ten Cities Chosen to Receive Grant Award to Kickstart Municipal Financial Empowerment Efforts

This press release announces the first cohort of CityStart cities, who will receive a planning grant and technical assistance to identify and plan for local municipal financial empowerment strategic priorities. The CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative offers mayors and their administrations a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, convene stakeholders for sustainable success, develop concrete strategies, and craft an actionable blueprint rooted in local priorities and opportunities. Selected cities are: Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK: Dallas, TX; Durham, NC; El Paso, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Portland, OR; Rochester, NY; Saint Paul, MN; and Tulsa, OK.

Residents Reduce $100M in Debt Through FEC Counseling

This press release announces that over 82,000 people have reduced a total of $100 million in debt through municipal Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs).

The Financial Empowerment Center initiative provides high-quality, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service. Learn more about the CFE Fund’s work to expand this model in 50 cities under its FEC Public platform.

Citi Foundation Supports Summer Jobs Connect with $5 Million

This press release announces the Citi Foundation’s generous contribution of $5 million in funding to the CFE Fund to provide more than 2,400 low-income youth with summer jobs and access to financial education as part of Summer Jobs Connect (SJC) in 2018.

Summer Jobs Connect enhances municipally-led summer youth employment programs by integrating structural linkages to safe and appropriate banking products, services, and education. Since launching in 2014, the Citi Foundation has invested over $23 million in this initiative, which has provided nearly 11,000 low-income youth with summer work experience, access to financial education, and appropriate financial services; SJC city partners have built these financial empowerment strategies into the infrastructure of their Summer Youth Employment Programs.