Banking Inclusion Initiative. Connecting more people to banking.

Launched in May 2021, the Banking Inclusion Initiative is our 10-year commitment to accelerate the access of unbanked communities to affordable mainstream accounts and have easier access to low-cost banking and financial education. We're focusing on Black and African American, Hispanic, and Native American/Alaska Native families, who account for more than half of America's 5.9 million+ unbanked households. We're also assisting those who are underbanked and underserved, who may have a bank account yet still use high-cost, non-bank services.

We have brought together a broad and diverse group of national and community stakeholders to increase access to digitally-enabled transactional accounts and meaningful financial education. Through this initiative, we've been collaborating with partners to test new options and empower individuals through financial coaching on budgeting and credit.

According to 2021 FDIC data, more than 5.9 million U.S. households don't have a checking or savings account. Over 50% of this number are Black and African American, Hispanic, and Native American/Alaska Native families.

Quote: Through our Initiative, we have organized our resources under one umbrella and are working with a broad and diverse group of stakeholders on a sustained multi-year effort to accelerate financial inclusion. A headshot of Charlie Scharf, CEO, Wells Fargo, appears to the left of the quote text.

Our commitment in action

Access to affordable products and digital options

  • Deepening our existing relationships with several Black-owned minority depository institutions (MDIs) to support their work in the communities they serve, including outreach efforts and providing for MDI institution customers the option to withdraw cash from our ATMs and incur no Wells Fargo fees.
  • Increasing awareness and outreach about low-cost, no overdraft fee accounts, such as our Clear Access BankingSM option that is designed for those who are new to banking, or have encountered previous challenges opening or maintaining a bank account.
  • Broadening our collaboration with the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund and local Bank On coalitions to pilot new strategies and approaches that help overcome barriers to banking access in several markets with high concentrations of unbanked households, focused on developing a more seamless path for them to navigate the financial system.
  • Collaborating with MoCaFi to help provide banking services to unbanked individuals, including offering MoCaFi customers the ability to use their MoCaFi debit card at our ATMs without incurring fees from Wells Fargo. Additionally, we are an investor in Greenwood, a digital platform for Black and Hispanic individuals and business owners.
  • Supporting to expand the Credit Builders Alliance (CBA) low-cost, credit-building consumer loan program to provide loan capital, capacity-building grants, and technical assistance to unbanked and underbanked individuals who need access to short-term credit.

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Quote: This exciting commitment from our partners at Wells Fargo is more than just offering a great Bank On-certified account. This work can break new ground in our mutual efforts to help unbanked communities. A headshot of Jonathan Mintz, CEO, CFE Fund, appears to the left of the quote text.

Quote: It is expensive to be unbanked and underbanked in this country; and we know there is a racial disparity in who has open pathways to economic advancement. There are so many opportunities for us to reimagine what our society looks like as it pertains to financial inclusion. A headshot of Darlene Goins, Head of Banking Inclusion Initiative, Wells Fargo, appears to the left of the quote text.

Make financial education and advice accessible

  • We have teamed up with Operation HOPE to establish HOPE Inside centers within selected Wells Fargo branches across the U.S., where community members can get free one-on-one sessions with HOPE Inside financial coaches. Over 150 branch locations in 20 markets will be served by HOPE Inside by 2024.
  • We're working with the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition to launch Our Money Matters at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and Community-based Organizations, a comprehensive financial wellness initiative for college students of color, who disproportionally face greater financial challenges and college debt. This initiative aims to equip students with much needed financial capability skills and access to support services. 
  • With nearly 29% of our branches in low- to moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods, we have introduced a new program within LMI neighborhood branches specially designed around the needs of the diverse communities we serve. The branches feature redesigned spaces created to deliver one-on-one consultations, improve digital access, and offer financial health seminars. We have selected a set of pilot locations to introduce the program, with a plan to expand to 100 LMI neighborhood Community Connections branches that have a high concentration of unbanked individuals.

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Quote: Supporting this game changing, transformational work at Operation HOPE will support underserved communities in very meaningful ways. A headshot of John Hope Bryant, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc., appears to the left of the quote text.

Hope Enterprise Corporation, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), NAFOA (Native American Finance Officers Association), NBA (National Bankers Association), NCRC (National Community Reinvestment Coalition), NCAI (National Congress of American Indians), National Urban League, and UnidosUS logos. 

National Unbanked Task Force Established

We have established and are leading a task force that is collaborating with us to bring more people into the banking system from underserved communities, while also providing feedback on the strategies and initiatives, and the best ways to measure success. The task force includes representatives from Hope Enterprise Corporation, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), NAFOA (Native American Finance Officers Association), NBA (National Bankers Association), NCRC (National Community Reinvestment Coalition), NCAI (National Congress of American Indians), National Urban League, and UnidosUS.

Quote: Black households are unbanked at nearly 6 times the rate of white households. I look forward to working with Wells Fargo to ensure all people have access to the financial tools needed to climb the economic ladder. A headshot of Bill Bynum, CEO, Hope Enterprise Corporation, appears above the quote text.
Quote: The NAACP is pleased to work with Wells Fargo in support of their commitment to helping more communities of color gain access to affordable banking services and fully participate in developing economic and financial stability. A headshot of Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, NAACP., appears above the quote text.
Quote: Having the tools to address financial and economic inequity for Native Americans is crucial for the prosperity of our communities and cultures. NAFOA is pleased to work together with Wells Fargo to provide these resources for tribes and tribal citizens, and to foster greater inclusion. A headshot of Rico Frias (Chihene Nde Nation), Executive Director, NAFOA, appears above the quote text.
Quote: The National Bankers Association and our members have been working to eliminate the racial wealth gap for nearly a century, so we are excited to be a part of this important new initiative. A headshot of Robert James II, Chairman, National Bankers Association, appears above the quote text.
Quote: Historic discrimination has left many families behind for far too long. Everyone should have the opportunity to build long-term wealth — and for communities who were intentionally excluded in the past, creating that opportunity requires extra support. Wells Fargo’s initiative is a direct action at that goal. A headshot of Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, appears above the quote text.
Quote: The National Congress of American Indians looks forward to helping inform and strengthen financial inclusion efforts so that we may fully realize community development potential for Tribal Nations, their citizens, and other communities of color. A headshot of Larry Wright, Jr. Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians, appears above the quote text.
Quote: For Black households especially, programs like the Banking Inclusion Initiative represent a much-needed path to financial stability and an opportunity to begin building wealth. A headshot of Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League, appears above the quote text.
Quote: This strong coalition of Latino, Black, and Indigenous organizations will offer valuable guidance helping unbanked people get on the path to achieve financial stability and security for their families. A headshot of Janet Murguia, CEO, UnidosUS, appears above the quote text.

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