On September 16, 2021 Bank On Greater Milwaukee (BOGM) celebrated their two-year anniversary with a virtual awards ceremony that recognized six local entities for their efforts to improve the overall financial health of the Milwaukee community.
As a program of the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA), Bank On Greater Milwaukee serves as a collaboration between financial institutions, community-based organizations and local governments to provide residents safe, affordable, and certified banking accounts.
“A basic transaction account is an important first step to participating in the financial mainstream”, said Constance Alberts, Bank On Greater Milwaukee Program Manager. “We are extremely fortunate to engage a coalition of community organizations, banks, credit unions, and governmental entities who are dedicated to ensuring more households belong to the financial mainstream by developing low-barrier accounts and providing supportive financial education services.”
BOGM is a part of a nation-wide network of Bank On coalitions that work to strengthen communities and give all citizens the opportunity to be financially healthy and prosperous.
“Roughly 40,000 households in Milwaukee are unbanked, which results in costly alternative services and fees,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “The number of certified accounts has nearly doubled since the launch of the coalition in 2019.”
At the anniversary event Bank On Greater Milwaukee recognized coalition members who have made a significant contribution to its mission over the past year through innovative product development, programming, and community engagement efforts with their 2021 BOGM Champion Awards.
2021 BOGM Champions:
- Milwaukee Public Library: Community Partner Champion
Each year, MPL assists Bank On Greater Milwaukee with the updating and distribution of 10,000+ Money Smart Resource Guides, and has served as a financial education partner for many years.
- Summit Credit Union: Product Development Champion
Summit Credit Union’s development of the Balance Account and a non-custodial Bank On account will help expand banking access to youth.
- REAL Bank Program: Innovation Champion
Developed by Lad Lake, Summit Credit Union, St. Charles Youth & Family Services, Inc., and the Economic Awareness Council, the REAL Bank Program works to ensure youth aging out of foster care will have access to financial education and bank accounts that are safe and affordable.
- Carol Maria, FDIC: Leadership & Activity Champion
Carol played an integral role in bringing Bank On to the Milwaukee community and continues to engage local, regional, and national partners in efforts that move the needle on expanding mainstream financial inclusion.
“Making it possible for people to access the financial mainstream is worthy work,” said Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. “It makes our whole financial system more inclusive.
To learn more about Bank On Greater Milwaukee, check out their website or take a look at our Two Year Anniversary video below.