Municipal leaders and their community partners can play important roles in expanding residents’ access to financial services and assisting them in achieving greater financial stability.
To explore the various ways city leaders are promoting financial inclusion to address financial insecurity in their communities, we developed the City Scan of Local Financial Inclusion Efforts (Scan) in collaboration with United Way Worldwide and the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Scan included an in-depth, online survey, to which 118 cities responded about their financial inclusion efforts. The purpose of this survey was to identify financial inclusion efforts taking place in communities across the country.
From March through May 2014, the survey was disseminated to city leaders through NLC’s weekly membership newsletter and various peer network listservs. It was also disseminated at our annual Congressional Cities Conference in March 2014. In addition, the survey was shared through national partner organizations such as United Way Worldwide.
From the survey results, we developed a comprehensive report intended to help city leaders:
Take action to improve the financial well-being of families in their communities,
Develop a strong knowledge-base of the range of options to help families build financial security,
Think “outside the box” of what cities have typically done to reach financially underserved residents, and
Identify innovations, local metrics and promising areas for future investment in the financial inclusion field.