Highlighted in this edition of Money Smart News is America Saves Week 2014, which took place February 24-March 1. This annual event provides opportunities for financial educators to tap into networks of others who share an interest in helping consumers learn more about money management and how to improve their saving and spending practices. America Saves Week, made possible by America Saves coalitions (including the FDIC) that advance this work throughout the year, is just an example of a collaborative effort that integrates financial education with other tools and resources. Keep reading to learn more.
America Saves Week isn’t the only way that financial educators are exploring new collaborations involving economic inclusion initiatives at this time of the year. For example, the Internal Revenue Service-coordinated Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free tax preparation for low- and moderate-income individuals, is an example of an opportunity for financial educators to promote their classes or financial services to people who need help building assets and opening bank accounts. The FDIC hosted a webinar for bankers focused on savings strategies during America Saves Week and included presentations on the VITA program as well as workforce development initiatives coordinated by the U.S. Department of Labor. You can learn more by watching a video of the webinar.
Keep in mind that FDIC’s Community Affairs Branch staff can be a resource to help your organization use financial education as a key component in initiatives that help low- and moderate-income families strengthen their financial future.
We are also eager to hear from you about any promising approaches or successful strategies involving Money Smart that may be useful to share with other financial educators in a future edition of our newsletter. Whether you are asking for assistance or offering ideas that can help others, send us an e-mail at communityaffairs@FDIC.gov.
Mark Pearce Director
FDIC Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection
America Saves Week – An Opportunity for Consumers and Financial Educators
The recent America Saves Week (February 24-March 1, 2014) is part of an annual national campaign in which more than 1,000 organizations -- from non-profit organizations to financial institutions and government agencies -- encourage consumers to develop a savings goal and promote useful educational resources that can help people save more year-round. During this time, the partnering organizations encourage consumers to think about ways to automate saving toward their goal, such as through regular transfers into a savings account. To learn more about America Saves Week, including inspirational success stories from participating organizations and how to sign up for updates (a good way to start planning for 2015), go to www.americasavesweek.org. For savings-related resources for educators and consumers from the FDIC, visit http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/savings.html.
Federal Banking Regulators Publish Revised CRA Q&As
On November 15, 2013, the federal bank regulators published a final revision to their interagency questions and answers regarding the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The revisions focus primarily on how the agencies consider several issues related to community development activities by banks. Financial educators may be interested to know that one relates to service on a community development organization's board of directors, and another clarifies the consideration of certain community development services provided to youth. For more information on these Questions and Answers, see the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s press release, which includes links to the Federal Register notice about the new Q&As and additional information about the agencies’ CRA regulations.
FDIC Consumer Newsletter Highlights New Rules and Tips for Mortgage Borrowers
The Fall 2013 issue of FDIC Consumer News features information on new mortgage rules, including practical tips for borrowers and a reminder about mortgage scams. Other articles include options for those unable to open a checking account based on a previously closed checking or savings account because of mismanagement, as well as key considerations when using financial institutions’ social networking sites. Financial educators are encouraged to use FDIC Consumer News as a supplemental handout for students. See this 20th anniversary issue of the newsletter and subscription information (the newsletter is available free) at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnfall13.
Check Out the OCC’s Financial Literacy Update
Did you know that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) publishes a bimonthly e-newsletter that reports upcoming financial education events, assorted initiatives and related resources from the OCC and many other government agencies and organizations? To find the latest version of the Financial Literacy Update, go to www.occ.gov/flu.
Our Latest Success Stories: Delivery Approaches Responsive to Local Needs
In this edition of our success stories from Money Smart users we highlight college students who were trained to provide financial education to their fellow classmates. Also featured is a bank that is successfully using different versions of Money Smart to teach its diverse community. (Read the stories.)
Wanted: Your Money Smart Teaching Tips
In our Summer/Fall 2013 issue we published the first installment of our Money Smart Idea Exchange, which highlights practical suggestions from Money Smart educators. To be considered for inclusion in an upcoming edition, please send us your thoughts on unusual subjects, teaching techniques and/or marketing strategies that are working well. Send your tips to MoneySmartNews@fdic.gov.