Unbanked Urged To ‘Bank on SanFrancisco’

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SAN FRANCISCO - (01/12/06) – More than a dozen local creditunions and banks are asking the thousands of unbanked residents ofthis renown Bay City to Bank on San Francisco. Modeled afterManhattan’s ‘Bank on New York’ program, the localdepositories are working with the city’s Treasurer and theFederal Reserve of San Francisco to develop and market a variety ofprograms aimed at signing the city’s estimated 50,000unbanked residents up to deposit accounts and to create specialservices for them. “This is a new area for this office.Getting into areas like financial justice has not been tackledbefore by the Treasurer’s office,” David Augustine, aspokesman for San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros, told TheCredit Union Journal. Among the issues being looked at are makingit easier for immigrants to open deposit accounts, providingincentives to opening insured deposit accounts, and offeringalternatives to high-cost check-cashers and payday lenders. Theprogram is currently being formalized for an official roll-out inthe first quarter. Advertising agency McCann Erickson Worldwide hasagreed to provide advertising and marketing assistance and todevelop a branding campaign on a pro bono basis. Among theparticipants so far are: Patelco CU, California Preferred CU,Northeast Community FCU and Spectrum FCU, as well as Wells Fargo,Bank of America, Citibank, Bank of the West and County Bank of SanFrancisco.

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