Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Bank on Atlanta Initiative

Bank on Atlanta, a financial access program that will focus on providing free or low-cost banking products, along with financial education and financial counseling, to unbanked and underbanked residents in the city of Atlanta has been created. Launched in San Francisco in 2006, the national model of Bank On is currently operating in cities including Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Savannah and Washington D.C.

Research shows that relying on alternative financial service providers such as check-cashing or payday lending establishments makes it hard for residents to rise out of poverty in our city. The fees from these non-traditional establishments force individuals and families to pay a disproportionate amount to access money, pay bills and complete basic financial transactions. Additionally, individuals who rely on such establishments are unable to build credit history. Bank on Atlanta will ensure that residents have the resources to manage their finances effectively. The program will also help participants become more aware of economic risks and growth opportunities.

Partner organizations for the Bank on Atlanta initiative include: FDIC, Regions, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Citizens Trust, 1st Choice Credit Union, Bank South, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Right Path, Atlanta Community Food Bank, GA Watch, Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Georgia Micro Enterprise Network, Community Sustainability Enterprise, Community Foundation for Financial Literacy/Right Path, LiftFund, JumpStart, On the Rise Financial Center, the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Exodus Financial Group, EverFi, Urban Asset Builders, A Scholar’s Touch, Westside Works, Center for Working Families, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Westside Economic Inclusion Collaborative, Choice Atlanta, the Department of Watershed Management, the Department of Corrections, Invest Atlanta, Welcoming Atlanta, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, and WorkSource Atlanta.

The Bank on Atlanta initiative will begin with a pilot in Pittsburgh, the Historic Westside, Downtown and Peoplestown based on median household income.

Bank on Atlanta is expected to launch in April.