In summer 2012, Washington Trust Bank approached United Way of Treasure Valley about the possibility of a communitywide collaborative project addressing an alarming problem:
• Many local individuals and families are unbanked or underbanked. If you’re unbanked, you do not have a checking or savings account. If you are underbanked, you may have a checking or savings account but you still use costly alternative financial services.
• The average unbanked individual spends 10% of his or her net income on alternative financial services.(Data from Corporation for Enterprise Development).
Washington Trust Bank was excited about the possibility after working with a successful Bank On partnership in Spokane, Wash. There are more than 100 Bank On projects in the U.S.
United Way was eager to change the odds for local people in the area of financial independence, which is one of the building blocks of a better life.
With Washington Trust’s commitment as Bank On’s Visionary Sponsor, United Way used its unique position as a community convener to bring together several financial institutions throughout the Treasure Valley. Their common goal? To improve the financial health of our community by reducing the number of unbanked and underbanked individuals.
After several months of evidence-based planning among the various partners, Bank On Treasure Valley launched in August 2013. The following organizations are currently supporting Bank On: