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Economic Empowerment

Strengthen financial self-sufficiency and economic opportunities in underserved communities

Financial success for our customers and our business starts with the success of local communities. We’re strengthening economic opportunities in underserved communities by empowering individuals and small businesses with the products, services, knowledge, and tools needed to promote financial self-sufficiency, income mobility, and ultimately, improved well-being and quality of life.

Our priorities

  • Expand access to high-quality, affordable, and responsible financial products and services to help underserved consumers enter the financial mainstream, increase savings, improve credit, and build assets.
  • Strengthen the financial capabilities of underbanked consumers and our own employees.
  • Stabilize local economies and low- to moderate-income neighborhoods through affordable housing, philanthropy, community development investments, and other critical community services.
  • Empower small businesses with access to the capital and financial services needed to start, operate, and grow.

Our programs

We work with community organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders to deliver capital, credit, financial education, and other solutions that meet the needs of our customers and communities and, ultimately, help make our economy stronger. Some of our key initiatives include:

  • In 2021, Wells Fargo fulfilled its approximately $420 million Open for Business Fund commitment to support an inclusive economic recovery for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The Open for Business Fund was established in 2020 to provide grants for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other nonprofit organizations that provide capital and technical support to diverse-owned small businesses.
  • The Hands on Banking® program offers free, non-commercial financial education tools and resources for all stages of life, in English and Spanish. Adults can learn at their own pace about banking, budgeting, saving, credit, homebuying, and more. The youth website has online courses for students, educator resources, and family activities at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Resources for organizations and volunteers to offer financial education in communities and classrooms are also provided.
  • Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment supports economic development by investing debt and equity capital in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods with limited access to traditional financial services.
  • CollegeSTEPS® program provides guidance to help students manage their finances through college.

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 encourages financial institutions to meet the credit needs of the communities where they operate. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency evaluates Wells Fargo’s CRA performance. Read our most recent Wells Fargo Bank N.A. evaluations: Wells Fargo Bank CRA Performance Evaluation (PDF)