Bank On Memphis launches Wed., Mar. 23, educates citizens & fosters financial stability through mainstream banking

Bank On MemphisA new initiative to educate citizens and foster financial stability through mainstream banking called Bank On Memphis will be launched at a press conference and signing ceremony next Wednesday, March 23rd at Incredible Pizza at the Hickory Ridge Mall.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, along with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir, the RISE Foundation & the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Memphis Branch will participate in the press conference and signing ceremony.

Incredible Pizza will distribute $10 gift cards to anyone present who opens a new checking account through Bank On Memphis. Customers can also visit the Hickory Ridge Mall Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Earned Income Tax Credit Alliance site (see our previous story here) following the press conference and signing ceremony.

Several United Way of the Mid-South staff serve on a Bank On Memphis outreach committee, conducting listening sessions and recruiting local non-profits to sign on as Bank On Memphis partners. United Way staff are also involved with providing Bank On Memphis training and creating training materials for partners interested in offering financial education to clients.

For more information about the press conference on March 23, please contact Kingdom Quality Communications at (901) 761-9286.

Here’s part of a media release about the press conference and signing ceremony which also contains interesting statistics about the financial life of our area:

MEDIA RELEASE: Mayor Wharton Orchestrates Bank On Memphis Initiative to Educate Citizens & Foster Financial Stability through Mainstream Banking

Memphis,Tenn. – In December 2009, an FDIC study showed that close to 40 million adults in the United States were either unbanked or under-banked. The terms “unbanked” and “under-banked” refer to someone who either has no bank or credit union account or does not take adequate advantage of account and financial services. In Memphis, 17.3 percent of adults are presently unbanked or under-banked.

Of the 69 largest metropolitan areas in the country, Memphis has the highest percentage of households without banking relationships. Estimates show that total lost savings opportunities for 45,000 unbanked households in Shelby County is in excess of $45 million.

Additionally, not having a sound relationship with a financial institution can hinder options when it comes to buying a home, securing a loan or accessing credit, not to mention the hundreds of dollars wasted per year to cash checks at checkcashing businesses or stores.

According to The Brookings Institute, savings on check-cashing fees alone could total as much as $40,000 during one’s work life. After taking office in November 2009, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton began planning a new initiative to address this critical issue threatening our community’s economic stability. He orchestrated conversations between the City of Memphis and Shelby County, along with prominent local banking executives and non-profit partners, to create a new outreach effort, called Bank On Memphis to serve the community’s unbanked population.

About Bank On Memphis:
By working with local banks and credit unions that offer lowcost, basic checking and savings accounts, thousands of Bank On Memphis customers can find their way to financial stability easier and faster than they ever thought. Bank On Memphis aims to get at least 45,000 unbanked Memphians into the financial mainstream through Bank On Memphis, including 5,000 in the first year of the initiative.

Bank On Memphis focuses on financial education, specifically the benefits of banking, as a means to help people achieve financial stability. It is a unique model that blends the best practices of similar programs presently working in 70 communities across the United States.

The full scope of Bank On Memphis will include several local area partner financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, with branches in neighborhoods across the city. The financial education aspect will connect customers with community organizations that provide personal finance classes. Completion of these classes could even lead to special incentives at financial institutions for Bank On Memphis customers. More information about Bank On Memphis may be found at http://bankonmemphis.org.

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