The CFE Fund’s biennial Bank On National Conference brings together hundreds of local Bank On coalition leaders, financial institutions, regulatory agencies, local government officials, and other partners to share best practices in serving unbanked and underbanked populations, reflect on the progress of the Bank On initiative, and inform future Bank On efforts. Check out the conference agenda here.
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.