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National Underbanked Initiatives

Money Smart Week - Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Money Smart Week is an annual event where hundreds of local communities around the country put the spotlight on existing financial literacy classes and activities and organize new ones to promote awareness of the importance of sound financial behavior.

Bank On - Started in San Francisco, Bank On is a public-private campaign designed to encourage underbanked consumers to use traditional banking services. Banks are key partners in this initiative. The National League of Cities offers a tool kit with practical tips and resources for municipal officials interested in starting a Bank On program. The OCC’s Community Developments Investments newsletter “Cultivating Community-Based Financial Literacy Initiatives” (spring 2009) discusses Bank On, how it creates civic partnerships, and how it reaches underbanked individuals.

Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund - The CFE Fund's mission is to leverage municipal engagement to improve the financial stability of low and moderate income households by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. The Fund works with mayoral administrations and those interested in supporting them to actually implement innovative programs and policies and measures its success accordingly.

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) - An IDA is a savings account that is matched by funds provided by donors, nonprofits, or others. The IDA is designed to help low-income individuals save for a specific goal within a defined time period. The OCC Insights report “Individual Development Accounts: An Asset Building Product for Lower-Income Consumers explains IDAs and matched savings.