Bank On Louisville is an engine to collaboratively strengthen our community’s economic well-being through improved access to mainstream financial education and services, with an emphasis on the low-to-moderate income population of the city.
Officially launched in 2010, Bank On Louisville helps connect consumers to safe and affordable banking products certified as meeting the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s Bank On National Account Standards.
In 2009, Louisville participated in a city cohort with the National League of Cities to implement a second wave of Bank On cities. At that time, Louisville took an innovative approach by charging two distinct Metro Government agencies, Economic Development and Resilience and Community Services, to lead the Bank On effort.
Pairing these agencies was based upon the premise that by raising the economic level and bankability of low income residents, we would not only help to improve household stability but we would directly impact the economic stability of the areas where they live, as well as the metro area as a whole. By documenting an increased exchange of money for goods and services in underserved areas, we could better demonstrate to investors that greater investment in new business enterprises would pay off.
Today, Louisville Metro’s Office of Financial Empowerment with Resilience and Community Services, continues to be the lead agency.
As part of our goal to improve the economic well being of our community through financial empowerment, Bank On Louisville supports the Bank On National Account Standards. We believe these standards afford increased access to mainstream financial products and services, provide unbanked and underbanked individuals and families with more confidence in their relationship with a financial institution, and allow them to improve their financial well being and their household balance sheet.
Bank On Louisville is a collaborative initiative that helps not just people who need access to checking accounts, but entire neighborhoods and communities as well. It’s a win-win-win:
- Bank on Louisville is a win for unbanked and under-banked individuals and families in our community. We know that over the course of a working lifetime, a wage earner will pay an incredible $40,000 in transaction fees related to check cashing, money orders, etc. that could otherwise be available for other purposes and long-term financial stability.
- Bank on Louisville is a win for neighborhoods and underserved communities. We know that retail investments are often heavily tied to credit card and checking account transactions within a geographic area, which will lead to new economic opportunities for individuals and the neighborhoods in which they reside.
- Bank on Louisville is a win for the partners engaged. It strengthens efforts of community-based organizations to serve their clients and fulfill their missions while leading to new business opportunities for mainstream financial institutions – tapping an unrealized market.
BOL has nearly 70 participating agencies representing community and faith-based organizations, financial institutions, state and local government, schools and universities. These partners contribute in many different ways, including their time, talent, resources and funding.
In addition, regional and national partners provide technical assistance, funding, resources, expertise and guidance in helping to move our work forward.
The Bank On Louisville Executive Committee is charged with identifying shared values and common goals, pursuing partnerships that strengthen the initiative, influencing public opinion and perception, inspiring action, establishing accountability mechanisms, guiding decision-making, focusing on sustainability, and reviewing data and committee reports.
To date, and now in its 11th year, Bank On Louisville has connected more than 43,000 residents to safe and affordable bank accounts and facilitated more than 26,000 opportunities for quality financial education for Louisville residents.
The National Bank On Movement
Bank On Louisville is proud to be part of the national Bank On movement, made up of dozens of local, regional, and state coalitions across the country.
The nonprofit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) is the national partner for local Bank On coalitions, supporting local efforts through resources like the Bank On National Account Standards and accompanying certification, grant support to build local coalition capacity, and a robust learning community. The CFE Fund also works to give voice to local coalition experiences by informing both federal regulatory policy and financial institution practices.