BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Regions Bank on Friday announced it is expanding its partnership with Operation HOPE to support a total of 100 HOPE Inside financial empowerment centers in Regions branches throughout the Southeast, Midwest and Texas over the next four years.
HOPE Inside locations provide cost-free financial education including credit and money-management counseling to underserved residents and small-business owners. Already, Regions houses 12 HOPE Inside financial empowerment centers spread between branches in Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma in Alabama, as well as St. Louis, Mo.; Jacksonville, Fla.; New Orleans, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; Paducah, Ky.; and Grenada, Miss.
“Operation HOPE works with people one-on-one to help them take charge of their finances, improve their credit scores and reach their long-term financial goals,” said Grayson Hall, Chairman, President and CEO of Regions Financial Corp. “We have seen first-hand how this program is making a tremendous difference for individuals and families throughout the communities we serve, and Regions Bank is proud to build on our partnership with Operation HOPE to make financial education more accessible to more people.”
Through the HOPE Inside program, Regions provides workspace facilities within bank branches, along with additional support, to enable a certified financial wellbeing coach from Operation HOPE to meet with clients during Regions’ regular business hours. Coaches work with clients to help them build their credit scores, understand and use credit wisely, strengthen their overall financial management skills and become better prepared to achieve homeownership, avoid foreclosure or accomplish other financial goals.
The service is provided free of charge and is available regardless of whether the recipient is a Regions customer. It is also available to people who have no bank account at all.
“Our vision is to create a stronger, more inclusive economy through financial empowerment – and financial dignity,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant. “Imagine the difference our programs are making in people’s lives as they improve their credit scores by 100 points or more. Think about the impact on families and communities as more people succeed financially. And consider the new investments and jobs that come to communities where people are financially secure. Operation HOPE is proud to work with Regions Bank in turning today’s vision into tomorrow’s reality.”
Various HOPE Inside locations offer financial-management guidance for small-business owners as well. Program participants can choose to complete an entrepreneurial-training program that emphasizes topics such as credit and money management, accounting, marketing, business plan development and more. This counseling is also provided free of charge.
Regions began its partnership with Operation HOPE in 2014 with the establishment of the Birmingham financial empowerment center. Future HOPE Inside locations over the next four years will be determined by a variety of factors including community needs, the accessibility of specific branch locations to future clients, available workspace and more.
The HOPE Inside model received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine. Nationwide, there are approximately 100 existing locations and commitments for more than 400 new offices within the next 24 months. According to Operation HOPE, each office holds consumer credit counseling certification, CFPB, FDIC, U.S. SBA, EITC, HUD, and FEMA applications and partnerships, and through HOPE Inside, Operation HOPE is the only organization certified by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to operate within a bank.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $125 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, mortgage, and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,500 banking offices and 1,900 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
About Operation HOPE
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. Through its core programs, the nonprofit has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.6 million individuals worldwide, and $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers. Project 5117 is HOPE’s multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth, and stabilize the American dream by boosting credit scores. Operation HOPE recently received its third consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator—further establishing it as a best-in-class organization. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter: @OperationHOPE.