Credit Unions Serve Their Communities, Add Members With Bank On Oregon

Bank on Oregon is a collaboration between banks and credit unions in Oregon in order to provide services to people who would not otherwise be able to get a bank account. Watch this video to learn more.

Credit unions are invited to serve their communities and expand their memberships with Bank On Oregon, a collaborative effort to increase Oregonians’ access to safe and affordable financial services. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services reports that 22% of Oregonians do not have adequate access to the financial system, and often rely on check cashing and payday loan services.

“Many Oregonians who are using high-cost financial services do not realize they have other options,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “We are pleased that consumers now have a central place to find low-cost products and financial education tools to help shape their financial future.”

When Oregonians log on to the Bank On Oregon website they find information on the importance of opening checking and savings accounts, and are pointed to a list of participating financial institutions where they can open affordable, secure accounts.

Bank On Oregon brings together consumer advocates, credit unions, banks, state and local government, and community institutions in a statewide push as part of the national Bank On movement for financial services access.

“The Bank On movement is really picking up steam around the country,” said Samantha Beeler, the NWCUA’s political and grassroots manager, “and last week representatives from each participating state got together in D.C. to share best practices and learn what’s next for the movement. We were excited to see credit unions picking up the torch and running with it in a number of states and we anticipate seeing that in Oregon as well.”

Bank On Oregon advocates point out the high cost of alternative financial services like check cashing and the vulnerability of holding cash. Opening accounts with a trusted financial institution will save Oregonians money and make their financial lives more secure, they say.

“Many Oregonians have had past challenges that have made it difficult to access affordable and safe financial products,” said Elena Fracchia, co-chair of Bank On Oregon and director of income and engagement at the United Way of Lane County. “Bank On Oregon will help these consumers stop paying for high-cost products and start saving for their future.”

To join Bank On Oregon or get more information, contact Samantha Beeler at sbeeler@nwcua.org or 503.350.2218.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org. 

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