Credit: (source: ne-np-facebook.com)

Last Updated on April 30, 2022 by BVN

S. E. Williams |

The Federal Reserve reports at least  40% of Black households and 30% of Hispanic households are unbanked or underbanked, compared to only 12% of white households and a McKinsey Global Institute report also estimates that nearly 20% of Black families have a negative net worth. 

To help mitigate this issue, the National Bankers Community Alliance (NBCA), a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Bankers Association (NBA), recently launched  a financial wellness program to help more minority communities close the racial wealth gap titled the NBCA Powered by Our Money Matters (OMM) pilot. 

To qualify as an NBA member bank an institution must be at least 51% minority-owned. Currently there are two NBA member banks in California, the Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles and the East West Bank in Pasadena

Thirteen of the NBA’s member Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) nationally will participate in the OMM pilot, an artificial-intelligence-driven curriculum that supports knowledge exchange, positive financial behaviors, and mainstream banking engagement.

Unbanked and underbanked rates were higher among adults with lower income, adults with less education, and Black and Hispanic adults. (federalreserve.gov)

Through a $500,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, NBCA will partner with the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition (CDAC) and iGrad, the technology team that supports the OMM platform, to help the pilot participants create a customized financial wellness website, issue user calls to action, and reward consumers for changed financial behaviors. 

“As banking and financial services evolve, customers have a greater need for innovation and for information to help them manage their finances. NBCA and HBCU CDAC share common interests in the promotion, advancement, and well-being of underserved communities and the advancement of wealth creation through actionable financial wellness training,” declared Nicole Elam, President and CEO of the National Bankers Association and Executive Director of the National Bankers Community Alliance.” 

NBA’s member banks will use the OMM platform, a tool originally developed to provide HBCU and Minority Serving Institution students and community residents with the skills needed to achieve financial freedom. The program provides in-person counseling, online programming, and support services to convert learners to customers and to help them manage their finances through improved banking and financial behaviors. 

“Our partnership with the National Bankers Community Alliance is a mutual commitment to further promote the importance of financial wellness and financial confidence for America’s underserved communities,” said Sharon Kent, OMM Program Director. “This is an opportunity to significantly improve the financial health of minority communities and younger consumers to close the racial wealth gap.”

To learn more about the NBCA visit https://www.nationalbankers.org/alliance and/or to learn more about OMM, visit: https://www.our-money-matters.org/.

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S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Stephanie has received awards for her investigative reporting and for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.