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FDIC ROLLS OUT CHINESE LANGUAGE VERSION OF MONEY SMART FINANCIAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MS-007-2003 (03-28-03)
Media Contact:
Chicago: Michael Frias (312) 382-7506
Washington: Rosemary George (202) 898-6530

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today introduced the Chinese-language version of Money Smart, its financial education curriculum. The announcement was made at a news conference held at the Chinatown branch of the Chicago Public Library, site of ongoing Money Smart classes for Chinese-speaking residents of Chicago.

"The American dream of owning a home and securing each family's future is the right of all our residents. Financial education is a key to building the assets that will help make that dream attainable," said Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Vice Chairman John Reich said today at the Chicago event. "It is most appropriate to mark this occasion in Chicago, where the Chinese community was the first in the nation to adopt the FDIC's Money Smart curriculum for Chinese language instruction."

The Chicago Chinatown coalition, made up of banks, private sector companies, non-profit community based groups, and government agencies, was the FDIC's very first partner in the effort to deliver financial education to Chinese-speaking Americans. Since classes began in March 2002, more than 160 people have taken Money Smart classes in Chinese. More classes are scheduled during 2003.

"The coalition's outstanding work and commitment to the Chinese community in Chicago is exemplary and deserving of special recognition," Vice Chairman Reich said.

The coalition includes the Chinese American Service League (CASL), the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau, the Office of the Mayor of Chicago, American Family Insurance, University of Illinois Extension, Charter One Bank, New Asia Bank, Pacific Global Bank, American Metro Bank, International Bank of Chicago, Lakeside Bank, and the Chicago Public Library (Chinatown). CASL is one of three national partners selected to review the Chinese language curriculum for accuracy and cultural sensitivity.

Since the introduction of the FDIC's Money Smart Program in English in July 2001, more than 4,000 people have completed the course in the Chicago area. The curriculum is an integral part of efforts citywide to address the issues of predatory lending and minorities' lack of access to mainstream banking services.

"No one is born being smart about money," said FDIC Chairman Don Powell. "That's something you learn. The Money Smart curriculum is an excellent way for people to learn how to build a more secure financial future for themselves."

Nationwide, the FDIC has distributed more than 43,000 copies of Money Smart to 18,000 financial institutions, faith-based organizations, city and community colleges, and federal government partners. Last year, the FDIC launched the Spanish language version of the curriculum in Chicago, where more than 700 adults have already received classes in Spanish. In addition to the English, Spanish and Chinese versions now available, Money Smart is being translated into Korean and Vietnamese. Those versions are scheduled for release later this year.

Any organization interested in financial education can use Money Smart. For information and instructions on how to obtain copies of the curriculum, click on the FDIC Money Smart link at www.fdic.gov, or send an e-mail to publicinfo@fdic.gov.

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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 9,354 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars - insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov or through the FDIC's Public Information Center (800-276-6003 or 202-416-6940).

Last Updated 3/28/2003 communications@fdic.gov