Financial services initiative targets Lowcountry’s underserved population

By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published Dec. 31, 2012

Charleston and North Charleston, in partnership with the Greater Charleston Empowerment Corp. and others, want to help give underserved people in the Lowcountry information about and access to mainstream financial resources.

The Bank on Charleston initiative partners the cities, nonprofits and banks to provide financial education and affordable financial services, including bank accounts.

Modeled after similar initiatives in San Francisco and Savannah, the initiative hopes to serve 1,200 of the more than 238,000 underserved households in the Lowcountry, according to a news release from the city of Charleston. Those not using mainstream financial services often pay more for check cashing and money order products, the news release said.

Access to financial training and education will be provided through nonprofits including Family Services, the Charleston Trident Urban League, the Charleston Area Community Development Corp., the Human Services Commission and the Greater Charleston Empowerment Corp.

The following banks also will be participating: First Federal Bank, CresCom Bank, SunTrust Bank, Branch Banking & Trust, S.C. Bank and Trust, National Bank of South Carolina, and TD Bank.

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