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Economic Empowerment

We’re strengthening financial self-sufficiency and economic opportunities in underserved communities

We’re strengthening economic opportunities in underserved communities by empowering individuals and small businesses with the products, services, knowledge, and tools needed for financial self-sufficiency, and ultimately, improved well-being and quality of life.

Our priorities

Our 2020 commitment to economic empowerment is focused on 4 areas:

  • 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 team members.
  • Stabilize local economies and neighborhoods through affordable housing, philanthropy, and community development investments.
  • Empower small businesses with access to the capital and financial services needed to start, operate, and grow.

2015 highlights

  • $281.3 million donated to 16,300 nonprofits globally to support critical community needs.
  • $18.8 billion in new loan commitments extended to small business customers across the U.S.
  • 165,700 people participated in Hands on Banking® financial education workshops.
  • $7.6 billion invested in community development projects in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, including affordable housing, job creation, community services, and economic development in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
  • $278 million committed to our LIFT programs since 2012, helping more than 10,725 people and families buy homes in 39 communities through down payment assistance, credit counseling, and homebuyer education.
  • $1.4 million in aid donated to disaster relief and recovery.
  • 2,100 Habitat for Humanity homes built and improved for low-income homeowners, seniors, and veterans since 2010.

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:

  • Wells Fargo LIFT programs support sustainable homeownership and help stabilize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods by providing down payment assistance and homebuyer education in collaboration with NeighborWorks America® and local nonprofit housing organizations.
  • Wells Fargo Works for Small Business® provides a wide range of resources, guidance, and services that help entrepreneurs take the next step toward their goals.
  • Bank On programs work to reduce barriers and increase access to banking and financial education. We support Bank On programs in 31 markets across the U.S., helping individuals and families in underserved communities establish banking relationships and integrate into the financial mainstream.
  • The Hands on Banking program and its Spanish-language counterpart, El Futuro en tus Manos® is a free and fun money management program that teaches people in different stages of life the basics of responsible money management. Two of our newest programs include Hands on Banking for Military and Hands on Banking for Seniors.
  • Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment supports economic development by investing debt and equity capital in in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods with limited access to traditional financial services.
  • CommunityWINSSM (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors provides $3 million over 3 years to nonprofits and cities that support neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and job creation initiatives.
  • The Wells Fargo Works for Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program provides diverse-owned small businesses with access to capital, technical assistance, business planning and other tools and resources.

LIFT Programs

We’ve provided more than $278 million to educate thousands of potential homeowners and help more than 10,725 people and families buy homes in 39 communities since 2012.

Wells Fargo LIFT programs

Hands on Banking

Get the basics of responsible money management, including how to create a budget, save and invest, borrow responsibly, buy a home, and establish a small business.

Hands on Banking

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

Community reinvestment is an integral part of our culture. We understand that we can be no stronger, nor more successful, than the neighborhoods and communities where we do business.

Read about how we are evaluated on the level of service provided to low- and moderate-income people and the communities in which they live.