Report: U.S. cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion
Friday, June 5, 2015
Cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion according to new research from the National League of Cities. In 65 percent of the cities surveyed, mayors, council members and city treasurers are working with community partners to increase the availability of financial education and counseling, build pathways to safe and affordable financial services, connect families to vital public benefits that they may not be aware of and implement other innovative programs to help families build financial stability.
Financial inclusion is becoming a tall order as it becomes more difficult to reach at risk populations and ensure that as demand for public services and earned benefits continues to grow, that finance education is also part of the conversation.
So far, report data shows that the most organized financial inclusion programs are largely happening in bigger cities. Both New York and Boston have offices of financial empowerment which provide a range of services from credit counseling, to budgeting education to basic education about how to get insurance or plan for the future. In other places like San Francisco, every child entering public kindergarten gets a savings account for college with $50 already deposited.