If you look at any corner of the earth, you will find the influence and impact of black culture. Behind this impact usually hide economic implications that benefit from said culture. The missing factor is that black people don’t always benefit.
From creators not being paid their fair value through social media apps to those marginalized by systemic challenges, there are myriad reasons why the black community has struggled to exploit wealth opportunities. The folks at Wells Fargo understand this and strive to provide banking solutions that help break down barriers for communities of color.
In May 2021, Wells Fargo launched its banking inclusion initiative. This 10-year commitment will accelerate unbanked communities’ access to affordable consumer accounts and make it easier for them to access low-cost banking services.
With a focus on BIPOC communities, Wells Fargo’s initiative will amplify the message that access to affordable financial services is a critical 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 more than half are black, Hispanic or Native American.
Traditionally, unbanked individuals and families have tended to overspend on services such as payday loans and check cashing centers. They also find it difficult to save money for emergencies, build a credit history, or achieve important financial goals.
“Being left out of the banking system and seen as financially underserved is a problem,” said Darlene Goins, manager 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 are raising awareness of the true cost of unbanking and under-banking. It is expensive to be marginalized in this country; and we know there is a racial disparity in who has open paths to economic advancement. We spent the time doing more for communities that have been underserved for too long,” Goins continued.
Although it may 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 partnered with national and community organizations to meet 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 influential organizations such as the NAACP and the National Urban League, will work alongside Wells Fargo to provide access to affordable products and services. digital banking solutions, as well as financial education and advice.
Programs like Our money matters, which is a financial wellness initiative of the 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 United States, equipping approximately 30,000 students and community members with essential financial skills, personalized tools for managing finances, student loans, and provides access to support services such as career closets and emergency financial assistance.
With partnerships and programmatic efforts like these and more, Wells Fargo is poised to help fight racial inequality and discrimination and bring about meaningful, lasting change.Click here to learn more about Wells Fargo’s banking inclusion initiative.