The Center for Financial Services Innovation, a nonprofit affiliate of ShoreBank Corp. in Chicago, has launched an effort to lobby policymakers on behalf of underserved consumers.

The center said Monday that its "policy initiative" will develop and promote "financial services policies that enhance and expand low-income consumers' access to reasonably priced financial products and services."

The center has hired a policy director, Melissa Koide, to lead its new effort. Koide had been the deputy director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation.

Her new agenda includes participating in "the policy developments underway to establish a consumer financial protection agency" and educating lawmakers and regulators about the underbanked.

The center did not disclose the amount it has invested in the initiative, but said it is funded by the Ford Foundation.

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