Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is touting the success of a program he helped launch more than a year ago to get “unbanked” residents to have a relationship with a financial institution.
Mallory said Monday during a press conference “Bank on Greater Cincinnati” has helped nearly 1,000 unbanked residents open accounts since it launched in April 2011.
He said those accounts have an average balance of $452. He added the program has an 88 percent retention rate and 350 of those participants earned education certificates in basic banking, managing money and understanding credit.
“We are helping move people into the financial mainstream so they can begin to save and build assets,” Mallory said in a press release. “I want to thank all of our partners that help make this initiative so successful. Bank On will continue to help families establish bank accounts and receive strong financial education to help them manage their money.”
The program is designed to keep people from using high-priced, check cashing and payday lending businesses. The mayor said an average user of payday lending services spends $900 a year in fees. By opening bank accounts, those fees can become savings.
Bank of Greater Cincinnati has also started an ambassador program to help spread the word about the program and recruit more new people to open bank accounts and financial education. You can learn more about the program online.