(Washington, DC)—Today, Mayor Bowser and the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) celebrated 10 years of providing accessible and affordable bank accounts to residents through the Bank on DC Program. Over the last decade, Bank on DC has helped 10,000 Washingtonians open bank accounts, collectively saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in banking and check cashing fees.
Started in 2010, Bank on DC is a partnership between the Government of the District of Columbia, financial institutions and non-profit organizations. The 10-year anniversary celebration will bring partners, staff and the community together to highlight the program’s impact on the District while promoting awareness of all the tools it offers District residents.
“Currently, 7.1 million Americans do not have a bank account and are completely unbanked and credit invisible. They often pay higher fees for cashing checks and have no means to secure a loan from a financial institution,” said DISB Commissioner Karima M. Woods. “These are the people who also fall prey to predatory personal loans with abusive terms. Through Mayor Bowser’s support of the Bank on DC Program, we are able to address these issues by offering low to no-fee bank accounts with local financial institutions that understand the particular needs of these residents.”
Bank on DC strives to raise awareness among low to moderate income residents about the benefits of account ownership and empowers residents to work towards creating a sustainable economic future for the welfare of their households.
“Equitable access to affordable banking is a gateway to financial empowerment and the starting point to more complex conversations about wealth and healthy financial habits,” said Director of the DISB Office of Financial Empowerment and Education Michelle Hammonds.
Bank on DC has partnered with several banks and credit unions to offer accounts that have low to no minimum balance requirements and low cost monthly fees. Financial partners also provide “second chance accounts” for people with ChexSystems histories or accept secondary forms of identification such as foreign documentation.
DISB and its partners will hold a virtual Bank on DC 10-Year Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, December 16 at 10 a.m. RSVP at bankondc10year.eventbrite.com. Learn more about the program at BankOnDC.org.
The mission of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB) is three-fold:
(1) cultivate a regulatory environment that protects consumers and attracts and retains financial services firms to the District; (2) empower and educate residents on financial matters; and (3) provide financing for District small businesses.