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PR-75-2002 (6-27-2002)
Media Contacts:
San Francisco: Linda Ortega (415) 808-8115
Washington: Rosemary George (202) 898-6530

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the CHARO Business Center have joined the FDIC in an effort to raise financial literacy in underserved communities and bring the unbanked into healthy banking relationships through the FDIC's Money Smart financial education program. The announcement was made at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The FDIC announced earlier this month that one million people will be taught basic financial education through the Money Smart Alliance Program in the next five years. The curriculum will be supplied free of charge to organizations and institutions who join the Alliance.

The FDIC news conference included representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Internal Revenue Service, the Los Angeles Housing Authority, the City of Los Angeles Community Development Department, and Inglewood Neighborhood Housing Services, as well as Alison Towle, Vice President of Community Investment for the United Way/Los Angeles; John Bryant, Founder and Chairman of Operation HOPE; and Cynthia Amador, Executive Vice President of the CHARO Community Development Corporation. All of these organizations are members of the Money Smart Alliance Program.

In addition, the following new initiatives were announced today:

  • The FDIC and HUD signed a national Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to announce a joint financial education initiative for Section 8 and public housing residents in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program using FDIC's Money Smart curriculum. The City of Los Angeles Housing Authority will be the first Public Housing Authority in the country to implement the Money Smart program.
  • The FDIC and the SBA announced a financial education pilot program in which the FDIC's Money Smart curriculum will be delivered through the SBA's network of 82 Women's Business Centers in the United States.
  • The United Way of Greater Los Angeles announced adoption of the FDIC's Money Smart curriculum for non-profit partners in its "Saving for the American Dream" program. The program uses Individual Development Accounts to help lower-income families learn how to manage their money, save, and invest in assets such as a home, small business, or higher education with the help of matching grants.
  • CHARO announced that it will be the first One-Stop Career Center in Los Angeles to use FDIC's Money Smart Spanish curriculum. The Center is the largest full-service staffing agency of its kind in Los Angeles. The Center pre-screens, tests, and evaluates candidates for employers, and offers a range of other services designed to save employers time and money.
Since the introduction of the FDIC's Money Smart Program in English in July 2001, more than 9,000 copies of the curriculum have been distributed. The curriculum is an integral part of efforts nationwide to address the issues of predatory lending and low- and moderate-income individuals' lack of access to mainstream banking services. Anyone interested in financial education can use Money Smart. The materials are easily reproduced and have no copyright restrictions. Copies can be obtained from the FDIC and are free to the user. In addition to the English and Spanish versions now available, Money Smart is being translated into Korean and Chinese. Those versions are scheduled for release in 2003.

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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 9,538 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 or through the FDIC's Public Information Center (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 06/27/2002

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