Financial InnovationsRewarded

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CHICAGO - (09/09/04) -- The newly formed Center forFinancial Services Innovation announced Wednesday it has awarded$500,000 to four community development entities for innovative waysto serve the underbanked. The winners are: CD Tech and CommunityEmpower, Los Angeles, for a stored value card and web-based creditcounseling service for low-wage workers; Community Act Project,Tulsa, Okla., for a web-based benefits eligibility screening toolthat links government benefits to savings opportunities at areacredit unions and banks; CircleLending, Cambridge, Mass., for aproduct that allows consumers and entrepreneurs to leverageinformal loans into traditional forms of credit; and Immigrant andRefugee Services of America, Washington, D.C., for its plan to helprefugees establish credit union and bank accounts with electronicdeposit and travel loan repayment systems, as well as financialliteracy. The Center for Financial Services Innovation waschartered in March and is a subsidiary of Shore Bank, theChicago-based community development bank.

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