Since the start of the FDIC's Money Smart financial education program nearly five years ago, one of our primary target audiences has been the large immigrant population in the United States. The FDIC recognizes that, because of language barriers and other impediments, many new arrivals need help learning how to safely and efficiently transact their personal business and how to save money for their future, perhaps to own a home or a small business. In this issue of our newsletter, we feature news and updates about how Money Smart is helping to break down barriers in the area of financial education and enable people who speak little or no English become more knowledgeable and more secure with their money.
Smart At a Glance
A free, award-winning financial
education program from the FDIC
Primarily focused on helping
low- and moderate-income adults develop money-management
Two versions –one for
classroom use (in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean,
Vietnamese and Russian), the other for computer-based, self-paced
learning (in English and Spanish)
Classes offered through an
extensive network of Money Smart "partners," including
financial institutions, non-profit organizations
and government agencies
Since 2001, about 495,000
people have taken Money Smart classes and
95,000 new banking relationships have been established
Here you can find a report on the new Russian version of Money Smart -- the sixth language for our curriculum (following English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese) but the first developed outside of the FDIC. Also, on our "Success Stories" page, you can learn about a California organization that is using Money Smart translations to help immigrants take control of their finances, and read about the City of Honolulu's recent proclamation of "FDIC-Money Smart Day," which honored the work of the FDIC and our partners in helping Hawaii families achieve their financial dreams. Here, too, we can point to outside partners tailoring the program to meet special needs. That's because, since 2001, Hawaiian partners have been using a version of the Money Smart curriculum about home ownership that was specially modified to relate to Native Hawaiians.
Also inside is an article about how Money Smart is contributing to a government campaign to increase direct deposit among individuals who receive federal benefit checks, mostly senior citizens and people with disabilities.
The FDIC and our Money Smart partners have many exciting opportunities to make a difference through financial education. We ask for your continued commitment in getting Money Smart into the communities where it is most needed. If you have a question or a suggestion for the FDIC's financial education team, please contact your regional Community Affairs Officer.
Sandra L. Thompson Acting Director FDIC Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection