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Money Smart Press Releases


MS-15-2003 (10-03-2003)
Media Contacts:
Rosemary George (202) 898-6530

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today announced that Community Trust Bank, headquartered in Choudrant, Louisiana, has joined the Money Smart Alliance Program. The announcement was made at the City Hall of West Monroe, Louisiana, by John F. Carter, FDIC Regional Director, Dallas Regional Office, and Drake Mills, Chief Executive Officer of Community Trust Bank. Community Trust Bank is a $350 million financial institution with eleven branches operating in north Louisiana.

As a partner in the FDIC's Money Smart Alliance Program, Community Trust Bank will reach low- and moderate-income individuals by providing staff for training through partnerships developed with community-based organizations, including The Tanner Center, Renewal, Inc., the YWCA, and the West Monroe Public Housing Authority. To date, approximately 100 persons have attended Money Smart sessions taught by Community Trust Bank personnel, with 44 persons receiving Money Smart Certificates of Completion. Community Trust Bank began using the Money Smart Program in August 2002.

CEO Mills said, "Community Trust Bank feels that it is our responsibility to provide leadership and training to low- and moderate-income individuals, through our people and our products, to allow anyone desiring to own their own home the opportunity to do so." Mills added, "Immediately after learning of the FDIC's Money Smart Alliance Program, it was an easy decision for Community Trust Bank to become a partner."

Community Trust Bank administers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for Money Smart graduates of The Tanner Center, which is the Department of Labor's One Stop Center in West Monroe, Louisiana. IDAs are asset building tools for low-income families to use in buying a home, paying for post-secondary education and training, and business capitalization. IDAs are managed by community organizations and accounts are held at local financial institutions.

Contributions from low-income participants are matched using both private and public sources. Similar to 401(k)s, IDAs make it easier for low-income families to build financial assets.

Ms. Tyneka Hill, a recent graduate of the Money Smart Program offered through Community Trust Bank and The Tanner Center, shared her experience at today's event. Through the IDA program, this single mother of two children saved $1,000 and funds of $4,000 were "matched" toward the down payment on a new home. In August, Ms. Hill became a homeowner in the city of West Monroe. "The Money Smart classes I took helped me understand how to make things work for me," said Ms. Hill "I didn't mind going even though I was required to go for the (IDA) program. It was hard, but I did it!"

FDIC Regional Director Carter commented, "It is both heartwarming and rewarding to hear Ms. Hill's success story. This is another fine day for the Money Smart program and all of its participants and partners. We at the FDIC truly appreciate the vision and commitment of CEO Mills and Community Trust Bank to making a tangible difference in their community. "

The FDIC developed the Money Smart curriculum to help low- and moderate-income adults enhance their money management skills, understand basic financial services offered by the financial mainstream and build their financial confidence to use banking services effectively.

The Money Smart curriculum includes ten comprehensive instructor-led modules covering basic financial topics including an introduction to bank services, tips on obtaining credit and information on buying a home. It can be easily reproduced for wide dissemination and has no copyright restrictions. Money Smart is free to users.

In addition to the English version, Spanish, Chinese and Korean CD-ROM versions are now available. A Vietnamese version of Money Smart is 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 go to or call 1-877-275-3342 or (202) 942-3404.

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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 9,267 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.

Last Updated 10/03/2003

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