“Rock On With Bank On”
In 2017, Irene Fong and Joanne Nguyen, both Academy of Finance students at Boone High School, Orlando, Florida, served as the summer interns for Florida Prosperity Partnership. Irene and Joanne were tasked with research on banking products available in Florida, using guidelines from Cities for Financial Empowerment’s (CFE) Bank On 2.0.
CFE and FPP are two organizations that envision a future beyond stability, to one of financial security, for all individuals.
To reach this goal, the researchers used Bank On 2.0 and FDIC guidelines to discover the potential financial deposit and credit products of banks in Florida as an option to alternative financial services (AFS).
Irene and Jo’s impressive research results indicate:
- Approximately 225 banks exist in the state of Florida.
- More than 10% of Florida banks meet the Bank On 2.0 standards in all four researched areas of deposit products, small dollar loans, credit-building products and alternative car loans.
- The research data was gathered via websites, direct phone calls and live chats; live chats proved the most immediate and reliable source for data collection.
- Some Florida banks have worked diligently within their communities to serve customers with poor credit ratings, as unstable credit is a significant factor in access to financial products.
- Financial institutions have demonstrated movement in offering products that meet the Bank On 2.0 standards; those brands that meet the standard have been able to successfully attract a market segment in Florida communities otherwise drawn to alternative financial services.