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Researchers : Community Financial Access Pilot
Complete Description:The Community Financial Access Pilot (CFAP) began in 2008 and was implemented through December 2009 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the Treasury) to increase access to financial services and financial education among low- and moderate-income families and individuals, especially individuals who have no bank or credit union account. Through the Treasury’s Office of Financial Education (now the Office of Financial Education and Financial Access), eight locations, representing a diverse set of urban, suburban, metropolitan, and rural areas of the U.S., were selected for a pilot project designed to enhance local capacity to build collaboratives that would increase the availability and use of mainstream financial services and financial education for the low- and moderate-income (LMI) population. This report summarizes the pilots during the 2008-2009 pilot period. Approaches varied substantially according to each community’s needs, priorities and resources. Some of the pilots principally focused on providing opportunities for LMI individuals to obtain financial education and a “second chance account,” if they had previous difficulties managing accounts. Other sites promoted accounts more broadly to individuals who were outside of the banking system. A third set of communities focused principally on developing the infrastructure to deliver high quality financial education for LMI individuals, including children, as a precursor to providing access to financial services. Despite these different approaches, similar findings were found in multiple communities. These common findings include: financial institutions are critical partners in delivering appropriate products and services; effective delivery of financial education is critical to promote sound use of financial products and services; both financial access and financial education can and should be delivered in diverse venues; and a strong collaborative effort can lead beyond accounts and education to provide new initiatives and ideas to address the many complex challenges facing LMI individuals. The report concludes with a description of the Treasury's development of a national Bank On USA initiative which will promote access to affordable and appropriate financial services and basic Consumer Credit products to benefit LMI individuals and households, building on lessons learned.
Author:Office of Financial Education and Financial Access
Funding Agency: Department of the Treasury
Type: Report;
Source: Case study;
Language: English
Audience: Researcher