Bank On Louisville celebrates 10th Anniversary

August 31, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer, local banks and credit unions representatives, and other community partners joined to celebrate the successful 10th year of Bank On Louisville, a program that helps low-to moderate-income families and individuals achieve financial stability and success.

Led by the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services, Bank On Louisville is a community partnership that has helped thousands of formerly unbanked individuals connect to free or low-cost starter or “second chance” bank accounts.

Bank On Louisville’s purpose is to provide access to affordable financial services including checking and savings accounts, credit products and financial education. Unbanked and under-banked individuals operate in a mainly cash-based system, missing out on the stabilizing benefits that a checking account can provide.

Bank On Louisville launched in 2010, following an FDIC National Survey the year prior estimating more than 76,000 unbanked or under-banked households in Louisville. It was further estimated that fees from high-cost check-cashers, predatory lenders and other alternative financial services can add up to more than $40,000 over the working lifetime of one individual.

“Now, more than ever, it is extremely important to have a bank account,” said Fischer. “With a bank or credit union account, not only can you manage your money remotely while practicing social distancing, but bank accounts also provide the ability to use fast, safe and convenient direct deposit for tax returns, the federal stimulus check, unemployment insurance and other income.”

BOL’s success at establishing partnerships has been the key to its growth and sustainability. Eighteen banks and credit unions, and more than 200 community organizations, faith-based and government agencies, including Louisville Metro and the Federal Reserve, work together on this initiative.

BOL’s accomplishments since 2010 include:

47,409 new bank accounts opened
26,544 financial education participants in topics such as budgeting and saving, financial goal setting, predatory lending and homeownership
887 individuals engaged in the Louisville Community Financial Empowerment and Training Program

Jonathan Mintz, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), shared a video message applauding Bank On Louisville’s commitment to the national CFE Coalition network and encouraging financial institutions’ movement and progress towards adherence to the National Account Standards. These standards include low-cost, low-fee, no-overdraft financial products designed to support local Bank On coalition efforts and expand access to safe and appropriate financial products and services to the 55 million-plus people currently outside of the mainstream financial system nationwide who rely on alternative, costly financial services.

Amy Shir, President and CEO of LHOME, also announced a new Financial Navigator program launching in September made possible by a grant awarded to Bank On Louisville. The program is designed to help residents deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by receiving free, remote assistance in navigating critical financial issues and referrals to other social services and financial resources.

”Louisville has terrific financial resources but they are often very difficult for community members to access and put to good use,” Shir said. “LHOME highlighted these local resources in our grant application with Bank On while acknowledging a tremendous need for financial navigators to connect them holistically to Louisvillians struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To learn more about Bank On Louisville and other resources, and to read the “Bank On Louisville 10 Years of Progress Report,” visit www.bankonlouisville.org or follow on Facebook at @Bank on Louisville and on Twitter at @BOLouisville.