FDIC Rolls out Vietnamese Version of Money Smart
On February 11, the FDIC announced the national rollout of the Vietnamese version of its Money Smart financial education curriculum. At an official press conference in Falls Church, VA, FDIC officials unveiled this new addition to the Money Smart lineup. Money Smart is now available in five languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
The 2000 Census showed that the number of Vietnamese in the United States had more than doubled since the 1990 Census. Money Smart was translated into Vietnamese to meet the needs of this community. (Photo: James Kegley)
Press conferences were also held in Houston, TX, and Orange County, CA. Texas, California, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area have the highest concentration of Vietnamese in the United States.
"Census figures tell us that the number of Vietnamese in this country more than doubled between 1990 and 2000," said FDIC Chairman Don Powell. "Many of them came to America seeking freedom from political conditions in their homeland. We are proud to make Money Smart available to them in Vietnamese so they will have the opportunity to attain financial freedom and achieve the American dream."
"We have used the English version of Money Smart for over a year, but we had to verbally translate the materials on the spot because most of our clients have limited English proficiency," said Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, Executive Director of Boat People SOS, a nationwide community-based organization assisting Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. "The Vietnamese translation of this highly effective curriculum will greatly facilitate access to financial services for many of our clients, because they came from a cash-based society and lack understanding of the American banking system."
Ms. Hien Tran, a graduate of the Vietnamese Money Smart pilot program, established an Individual Development Account (IDA) and has just purchased her first car. (Photo: James Kegley)
Boat People SOS was one of eight groups around the country that reviewed the Vietnamese translation to ensure that it would be both user-friendly and culturally sensitive. The other reviewing groups were the Unified Vietnamese Community Council in Los Angeles, CA; the Department of Housing and Employment Development in Houston, TX; Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN; Center Bank in Garden Grove, CA; Southeast Asia Community Center in San Francisco, CA; and VATV, a non-profit media outlet serving the Vietnamese-American community in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
"From refugees to full American citizens, the Vietnamese community continues to contribute to the American political and economic landscape," said Michael J. Zamorski, Director of the FDIC's Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection. "Many Vietnamese work in small businesses, and the basic credit knowledge taught in Money Smart will be helpful to their future economic success."
"Now that Money Smart is available in Vietnamese, we encourage financial institutions, community development corporations and non-profit organizations to form partnerships to deliver this useful program to the Vietnamese community," Zamorski said. "Personal financial management skills are essential to asset building."