June 28, 2021

Full-Time Bank On Fellow Will Lead Coalition of Government Leaders, Community Organizations, and Financial Institutions in Florida to “Bank the Unbanked”

June 29, 2021 – Florida Prosperity Partnership (FPP) and national nonprofit the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced Patrick Eber Eichholtz as Florida’s Bank On Fellow for a two-year term to advance banking access efforts. Bank On Florida is one of six Bank On coalitions across the country whose work will be supported by this cohort of the Bank On Fellows initiative. The goal of the national Bank On program is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. The program’s national certification prescribes a safe, affordable, and fully functional consumer account, and is already offered by nearly 100 banks and credit unions across the country at over 32,5000 branches, comprising nearly 50% of the U.S. deposit market share.  Nearly 90 local Bank On coalitions across the country, led by or working closely with local government, are working to expand access to these financial products to the over 36 million people outside of the mainstream financial system, through programming opportunities including stimulus payments, tax credits, unemployment insurance, and more.  

Now in its third Wells Fargo-supported cohort, the national Bank On Fellowship Program provides funding to six Bank On coalitions to support a full-time staff position for two years — a “Fellow” — to lead coalition activities. Launched in 2017 with generous support from Wells Fargo, it is the first national initiative focused on building experienced banking access leaders across the country, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts while at the same time generating best practices for other coalitions.

Bill Mills, President and CEO of FPP states “Bank On Florida has been active, for almost eleven years, in helping Floridians move from financial crisis to stability, security, and prosperity”.

The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between local governments, financial institutions, and community organizations. 

“The importance of a safe account for everyday financial needs—like receiving funds and paying bills—has never been clearer,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank On coalitions across the country have done critical work helping consumers access certified mainstream bank and credit union accounts to receive stimulus payments and other emergency supports, pay bills, and manage their finances. We know that dedicated staff leadership will supercharge coalition efforts. We are proud to partner with Wells Fargo to support Bank On Florida and their new full-time Fellow Patrick Eber Eichholtzin helping Florida residents connect to safe financial products.”

Bank On Florida is powered by FPP, based in Sanford, Florida.  The goal of Bank On Florida is to achieve financial inclusion for all Florida residents and positively impact the success of all present and future Bank On coalitions throughout the State of Florida.  Patrick Eber Eichholtz joins Bank On after three decades in the banking industry and is eager to begin his new career.  While in my most recent role in community engagement with a major financial institution I always searched for programs and initiatives that made the largest impact in underserved communities,” saidPatrick Eber Eichholtz “Bank On is exactly that and I am excited to continue my Bank On efforts full-time as Director of Bank On Florida”.

“The high number of unbanked households is a complex and long-standing challenge and we want to help more people gain access to affordable, mainstream banking services, whether through Wells Fargo or another provider,” said Darlene Goins, head of Financial Health Philanthropy for Wells Fargo. “This year as part of our new Banking Inclusion Initiative, we’ll also be collaborating closely with CFE Fund and our Fellows to pilot new strategies and approaches that help reduce barriers to banking access in several markets with high concentrations of unbanked households.

Wells Fargo’s investment in the Bank On initiative also enables the CFE Fund to provide local coalitions with funding and technical assistance to boost their local efforts in expanding access to safe and affordable banking accounts that are certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards. The Standards identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect consumers to accounts that meet their needs. Core account features include low costs, no overdraft fees, robust transaction capabilities such as a debit or prepaid card, and online bill pay. 

 About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)

The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting-edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and counties representing 75 million people, and has disbursed over $52 million to city governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org  or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

About Florida Prosperity Partnership (FPP)

FPP is a coalition of financial capability practitioners reaching over 1,000,000 a year. Through coalition engagement, the practitioners build knowledge, skill and understanding to elevate people and communities from financial crisis to stability, security, well-being and prosperity. Active FPP initiatives resourced from generous funding opportunities and connections with the coalition that promote engagement include content production for Spondulics financial education streaming service, youth financial capability internships, an annually held financially themed film festival, access to training in becoming a certified professional practitioner in financial capability, Bank On regional projects aimed at promoting relationship building with insured financial institutions, and more. For more information, please visit www.FloridaProsperityPartnership.org!