Bank on Oakland is an initiative of the City of Oakland, the Office of Mayor Ronald V. Dellums, and United Way of the Bay Area as a part of the Bank on California project led by the Office of Governor Schwarzenegger to ensure every resident has access to mainstream financial services. In Oakland it is estimated that 30,000 of 115,000 households are without access to checking or savings accounts. Through Bank on Oakland, those who are unbanked or need a second-chance account have access to low or no cost banking products and free financial education. This will help working families in Oakland reduce their use of payday loan systems, increase financial education and provide entry on the road to financial self-sufficiency.
The convenience and safety of having a bank or credit union account is often taken for granted by a large majority of Oakland residents. Unbanked individuals spend an average of $800 each year to cash their checks. Without bank accounts, many people are forced to carry large sums of cash and can easily fall victim to crime as a result. Financial security, personal safety, and simple convenience are byproducts of a financially educated Oakland community with access to mainstream financial services.
Over the past six months, banks and credit unions have met with a diverse coalition of partners to develop policies and product features that will facilitate banking for currently unbanked populations. This directory provides information about each participating financial institution’s policies and product features, which you or your organization may use to spread the word about this timely opportunity.
The success of this initiative and the ability to reach our target communities will not happen without help from you and the hard-working Community-Based Organizations and Nonprofits who have invested countless hours into this initiative. By acting as trusted liaisons, reaching out to neighbors and clients to explain the benefits of using mainstream financial institutions, you will be part of helping thousands of Oakland residents get on the road to economic mobility. We encourage all to use this directory as a reference to help clients, neighbors and friends find the banking relationship that best meets their needs.
The coalition is also working to offer financial education, free tax preparation, and other asset building opportunities. To locate any of these services, or find a participating branch, just dial 2-1-1 from any phone. We hope that you will work closely with the partner institutions to connect people to these vital services as well.