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Wells Fargo’s Banking Inclusion Initiative Seeks To Bring Financial Equity To BIPOC Communities

If you look at any corner of the earth, you will find the influence and impact of Black culture. Behind that impact are typically economic implications that profit from said culture. The missing factor is that Black people do not always benefit.

Whether it’s creators that are not getting paid their worth from social media apps or those marginalized by systemic challenges, there are a myriad of reasons why the Black community has experienced challenges tapping into wealth opportunities. The folks at Wells Fargo understand this and are working to provide banking solutions that help break barriers for communities of color.

In May 2021, Wells Fargo launched its Banking Inclusion Initiative. This 10-year commitment will accelerate the access of unbanked communities to affordable mainstream accounts and have easier access to low-cost banking.

With a focus on BIPOC communities, Wells Fargo’s initiative will amplify the message that access to affordable financial services is a crucial driver of financial inclusion, stability and health. According to data reported by the FDIC, there are 7 million unbanked households in the United States, and over half are Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

Traditionally, unbanked individuals and families tend to overspend on services like payday loans and check-cashing centers. They also find it challenging to save money for an emergency, build a credit history, or achieve significant financial goals.

“Being left out of the banking system and deemed financially underserved is a problem,” explained Darlene Goins, head of Wells Fargo’s Banking Inclusion Initiative. “The problem is not new, and the need for solutions is becoming more urgent.”

“Through the Banking Inclusion Initiative, we’re raising awareness about the real cost of being unbanked and underbanked. It is expensive to be marginalized in this country; and we know there is a racial disparity in who has open pathways to economic advancement. We have passed the time to do more for communities who have gone underserved for far too long,” Goins continued.

While much of this can seem daunting, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Wells Fargo is not pursuing the work of the Banking Inclusion Initiative alone. Through the power of collaboration, Wells Fargo has teamed up with national and community organizations to address the financial needs of diverse communities.

Some collaborative efforts include partnerships with organizations such as MoCaFi, Cities For Financial Empowerment, Operation HOPE, and HBCU Community Development Action Coalition. These collaborative partners, along with Wells Fargo’s National Unbanked Task Force, comprised of the nation’s most impactful organizations such as the NAACP, and National Urban League, will work alongside Wells Fargo to provide access to affordable products and digital banking solutions, and financial education and advice.

Programs like Our Money Matters, which is a financial wellness initiative by HBCU Community Development Action Coalition, funded by Wells Fargo, designed to address key financial literacy challenges that continue to create barriers to financial growth and wealth creation in underserved communities of color, is just one of many examples of how Wells Fargo is partnering to make a difference. Our Money Matters was designed to engage, educate, and support financial literacy in communities of color and seeks to accelerate financial inclusion.

Our Money Matters will engage HBCU and Minority Serving Institution (MSI) campuses across the U.S., equipping roughly 30,000 students and community members with critical financial capability skills, personalized tools for managing finances, student loans, and provides access to support services like career closets and emergency financial assistance.

With partnerships and programmatic efforts like these and more, Wells Fargo is poised to help address racial inequality and discrimination and bring about significant and enduring change.Click here to learn more about Wells Fargo’s Banking Inclusion Initiative.

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