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Economic Empowerment

We’re strengthening 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 ensure financial self-sufficiency, income mobility, 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 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.

2016 highlights

  • $87.9 million donated to nonprofits that support financial education, sustainable housing, small businesses, and other critical economic needs.
  • $38 million in grants and lending capital distributed to 30 Community Development Financial Institutions serving diverse small businesses.
  • 206,300 people participated in Hands on Banking® financial education workshops.
  • 12,900 homeowners created in 48 communities since 2012 through $327 million in down payment assistance and support through Wells Fargo. LIFT programs
  • $35 billion in new mortgages provided to minority households and $14 billion in new mortgages provides to low- and-moderate income households.
  • 4.1 million customers helped to manage their credit scores and overall financial health with free credit score program.
  • 525 homes built or improved for low-income homeowners, seniors, and veterans in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and other housing nonprofits

Our programs

We work with community organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, 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.
  • 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 $327 million to educate thousands of potential homeowners and help more than 12,900 homeowners buy homes in 48 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)

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 N.A. September 2012 (PDF)