SAN FRANCISCO--(Ben Mangan, President and CEO of EARN, the nation’s leading provider of matched savings accounts for low-income workers, met last Thursday with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin, to discuss ways in which the Bank on San Francisco can achieve national scalability.)--
“EARN’s participation and support contributed greatly to the success of this initiative”
EARN co-founded Bank on San Francisco in 2006 in partnership with Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer Cisneros. Since its inception, this innovative program has helped thousands of low-income San Francisco residents open bank accounts as opposed to using disreputable check-cashing services that often charge usurious interest rates. The result: in just four years over 50,000 “unbanked” San Franciscans have been successfully brought into the financial mainstream.
Based on this achievement, President Obama has included $50 million in the 2011 fiscal year budget to create a federal program modeled on the program—a powerful success story for the world of social innovation. As Bank on San Francisco’s nonprofit managing partner, EARN and Mangan will serve as advisors as the program proceeds with a national rollout.
“EARN’s participation and support contributed greatly to the success of this initiative," said San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros. “EARN helped us create a program that meets the needs of unbanked San Franciscans, and we will continue to work with community leaders like EARN to keep delivering effective and innovative programs.”
“EARN is very proud of the role we played in helping to design a local effort that is on the verge of being implemented on a national level,” said Mangan. “While we celebrate this success, EARN remains ever-diligent in our commitment to promoting financial services for low-income consumers including matched savings accounts, micro-loans and financial coaching programs.”
About Bank on San Francisco
Bank on San Francisco is the first comprehensive program in the United States to serve the “unbanked,” those who live without access to mainstream financial institutions and are forced to rely on expensive check-cashing services. In December 2005, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros challenged every local financial institution to partner with the City and help remove barriers that have historically kept the unbanked out of the financial mainstream. A steering committee (comprising the Treasurer’s Office, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and the nonprofit EARN) worked with local community organizations, banks, and credit unions to develop a program that would:
Now, every San Franciscan has the chance to open an account with the bank or credit union that works best for them, and to start saving for the future. Our goal is to open 20,000 new accounts by the end of 2008, and put thousands of families on the road to financial security. Visit http://bankonsf.org/.
EARN is an award-winning California-based nonprofit that gives low-income workers the power to create economic prosperity for their families for generations to come. Since 2001, EARN has helped tens of thousands of low-wage families through innovative financial products including matched savings accounts, checking accounts for the unbanked, micro-loans, and money management coaching. EARN’s powerful combination of lasting assets and financial know-how enables families to build wealth and achieve life-changing goals such as saving for college, purchasing first homes, or starting small businesses. Through its policy and research arm, EARN evaluates its impact and reports on new data regularly, sharing lessons learned and best practices in order to transform the financial services landscape and to champion effective public policies. EARN’s ultimate vision is that millions of well-informed, low-income American families will achieve financial success through proven strategies, fair public policy, and their own hard work. Visit www.earn.org or follow us on http://twitter.com/EarnOrg.