Steve Heath of United Way announces the Bank On Sacramento transition at a press conference with Mayor Kevin Johnson and SAFE Credit Union’s Rachel Zillner and Paul Hersek.

Mayor Transitions Bank on Sacramento to United Way
United Way Will Run Second Chance Banking Program in Five Counties

News Release

February 9, 2012 – Bank On Sacramento is expanding beyond the city to serve Sacramento County and will be led by United Way California Capital Region, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced this week. Bank On Sacramento surpassed goals under city leadership and will now be part of Bank On California Capital Region, a coalition of Bank On programs across Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

“The city has done a fantastic job with this program, giving many more Sacramento residents access to mainstream banking services,” said Steve Heath, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “The Bank On program is a fantastic fit with our $en$e-Ability project, which is working to improve financial literacy and income in our region. We look forward to expanding it to all five counties we serve so more people across our region can experience financial success.”

Current numbers show 6.2 percent of households in Sacramento County are unbanked, amounting to 31,213 households. Studies also show 17.3 percent are underbanked – they have bank accounts but rely on alternative financial services such as check cashing, payday loans, rent-to-own agreements or pawn shops. The average full-time worker with no bank account can spend $40,000 in paycheck cashing fees over a lifetime.

Bank On California Capital Region is one of 62 programs across the country. Bank On programs are locally led coalitions of government agencies, financial institutions and community organizations working to improve the financial futures of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families by providing free or low-cost starter or second chance bank accounts and access to financial education. Current Bank On Sacramento members include Bank of America, Bank of the West, BBVA Compass, Chase Bank, Citibank, First Northern Bank, Patelco Credit Union, SAFE Credit Union, Schools Financial Credit Union, Travis Credit Union, Union Bank and Wells Fargo. For more information, visit www.joinbankon.org.

United Way is the region’s leading provider of innovative solutions on the community’s most pressing issues, including high school graduation rates, household financial stability and obesity. United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors and volunteers work together to provide positive, measurable results on these issues through United Way projects: STAR Readers, $en$e-Ability and Fit Kids. Community members can give, volunteer and advocate in support of the causes they care most about, benefiting United Way and hundreds of nonprofits in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. United Way is an independent, local affiliate of United Way Worldwide. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.