The CFE Fund’s Bank On National Conference was held virtually on November 15 and 16, 2021, and brought together almost 500 Bank On stakeholders including Bank On coalition leaders, financial institutions, regulatory agencies, local government officials, and other partners. The Conference was recorded, and all sessions can be viewed at our Bank On National Conference channel. Conference highlights included a keynote address from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWilliams; sector leader conversations with CFE Fund CEO Jonathan Mintz and Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, US Representative Ed Perlumutter (CO-07), American Bankers Association President Rob Nichols, and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Aaron Klein; and sessions on banking integrations at true scale, racial equity and banking, and communicating to the unbanked.
The CFE Fund announced that there are now more than 100 bank and credit union accounts nationally certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards. Banks and credit unions offering certified accounts comprise over 50% of the U.S. deposit market share, and 40% of all US bank branches offer a certified account; nearly two million Bank On certified accounts were opened in 2019. With the certification of BMO Harris’ Smart Money™ Account, BOM Bank’s EZ Checking account, Rio Grande Credit Union’s Fresh Start Checking, US Eagle FCU’s Flex Checking account, and Wintrust Community Banks’ Money Smart Checking account, there are now 108 accounts certified as meeting Bank On National Account Standards. These accounts can expand access to safe and appropriate transactional accounts to the almost 36 million people outside of the mainstream financial system, and can be used to receive and manage the federal Child Tax Credit and other emergency payments.
The CFE Fund recently submitted a comment letter to the Federal Reserve Board on Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) modernization. Citing experiences from the Bank On movement, as well as the FECPublic initiative, the CFE Fund recommended that the CRA examination process should credit financial institutions’ provision of safe and affordable banking accounts and support for meaningful financial inclusion efforts.