ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Sept. 5, 2018 – Regions Bank and Operation HOPE on Wednesday announced the latest expansion of free financial counseling for individuals, families and business owners seeking to build their savings, improve their credit, achieve homeownership or accomplish a variety of other financial goals.

The counseling is available through the newest HOPE Inside financial empowerment office that is now open within Regions’ branch at 4706 S. Kingshighway Blvd. in South St. Louis.

Through a long-term partnership between Regions and Operation HOPE, the bank is providing workspace facilities and operational support inside various branches to enable a certified Operation HOPE financial wellbeing coach to meet with people and deliver customized, one-on-one financial advice, guidance and education.

The service is available for free to anyone – regardless of whether they bank with Regions.

“Financial education leads to financial empowerment,” said Mike Hart, St. Louis Market Executive for Regions. “No matter what stage of life you are in, the time to prepare for your financial future is now. And no matter how much, or how little, you have to begin with, this is a place where you will find insights, tools and resources to help you save more, spend wisely and reach your long-term goals.”

HOPE Inside offices are literally “inside” banks, retail stores and other locations across the country, allowing Operation HOPE to reach more people while cutting out the expensive overhead costs of running a financial education center.

“We are expanding HOPE Inside in St. Louis because we see the powerful impact this program is having on people and communities every day,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. “Over time, we help people improve their credit scores by 100 points or more. We help them stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. We work with people wherever they are financially – and help them get to where they need to be. Operation HOPE is proud to continue its work with Regions, and we look forward to serving people throughout South City.”

Regions began its work with Operation HOPE in 2014 in Birmingham, Ala., and later expanded the partnership to bring HOPE Inside to North St. Louis County. Since then, the partnership has grown to include East St. Louis and Belleville and, now, the Southtown area.

People interested in free HOPE Inside counseling at the Kingshighway Regions branch in Southtown can contact Melissa Carron at 314-320-4382 or melissa.carron@operationhope.org.

Additionally, counseling in North County can be arranged by contacting Zachery Post at 314-660-8074 or zachery.post@operationhope.org. Post is based in Regions’ branches in Florissant (New Halls Ferry Rd.) and Jennings. Further, counseling at Regions’ East St. Louis and Belleville, Ill., branches is available by contacting Ryan Moore at 618-250-1412 or ryan.moore@operationhope.org.

Due to the success of the Regions-Operation HOPE partnership, the work between these two organizations is growing to reach a total of 100 HOPE Inside offices in Regions branches across the Southeast, Midwest and Texas over the next few years.

The HOPE Inside model received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine. Nationwide, there are now over 120 locations and commitments for more than 450 new offices within 18 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 2,000 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 – disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million individuals and directed more than $2.7 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities – turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious nonprofit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information, visit www.OperationHOPE.org. You can also follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope.