In an effort to provide access to quality banking products and services that our underserved communities need, the National Bank On Coalition was formed. Its primary goal is to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, affordable bank or credit union.
It’s estimated that approximately 14 million adults are unbanked with no checking or savings account. On top of that, nearly 20% of U.S. households (approximately 50 million adults) are underbanked, meaning they still use unconventional financial services. “Often, these types of unconventional financial services encompass check cashing and payday loan services that charge these individuals eccentric fees and high interest rates,” said Stacy Clay, First Bank’s Director of Community Affairs and member of the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (FEC). “Many of our unbanked and underbanked in the community have never had access to a trusted banking partner or possibly have encountered some challenges with financial services in the past. We want to change that by providing safe, affordable banking products to help everyone in our community make smart financial decisions for their future.”
Unlike other “second chance” checking products with a myriad of requirements and limitations, Thrive Checking is a National Bank On Account certified product, offers no minimum balance requirements, and can be opened with as little as $25. First Bank’s Thrive Checking also offers the flexibility of free online and mobile banking. “Our Thrive suite of banking products,” explained Clay, “provide financial empowerment to those who otherwise would have difficulty getting ahead by using expensive, alternative financial services.”
To read more about Thrive Checking, please click here.
Much like the Financial Empowerment Coalition, Clay has championed the cause of banks addressing the needs of unbanked and underbanked. “The work of the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition clearly benefits these individuals,” he said “but also strengthens our financial sector as we get more people into mainstream banking. Financial empowerment is good for the individuals and good for the community as a whole.”