July 13 2010 Minutes

BANK ON YAKIMA COUNTY
Meeting Minutes 07/13/2010
NEXT MEETING TUES, SEP 14, AT 7:30AM
THE BOARDROOM AT CATHOLIC CREDIT UNION

Present: Jennifer Mosley (Wells Fargo), Sharynn Hosier (CCU), Lance Stephens (UWCW), April Leslie (Banner Bank), Sue Ford (US Bank), Michelle Besso (NW Justice Project), Michelle Smith (CCU), Maria Garcia (RCDR), Steve Loeb (VISTA), Dave Gilbreath (CCCSY)

Agenda: The agenda was approved with no changes.

Minutes: The June 8, 2010 minutes were approved as written.

Reports:

Operations/training: There has been an issue with tellers not knowing about the program. What to do about teller turnover? There was a report that there is more interest in checking than savings accounts in the program.

Tracking: Steve reported that not all financial institutions have submitted their tracking reports. Sue was disappointed because of a lack of signups at US Bank. Some accounts were not properly tracked, but turnout was still low. There was some difficulty locating the link to do tracking —- Steve will work on it.

Marketing: Some consumers have the misunderstanding that outstanding balances will be forgiven under the Bank on program. After some discussion, all agreed we need to make sure our media messages make it clear that financial institutions may not open accounts for consumers who have current unpaid balances. Banner had one customer who tried to argue his way into opening an account using the King County bank matrix despite the fact that he had 8 ChexSystems records, 2 of which were for fraud. We need to strengthen the disclaimers to make the policies clearer.

Financial Literacy: The class schedule is on the website, and monthly classes in English and Spanish are on the web calendar. There was a discussion of offering a financial incentive for consumers to attend financial literacy classes. Budget permitting, this might be a sum of money deposited in a new account after completion of the education class.

Community Outreach: There was a discussion about how to reach out to consumers at various community events, including information tables/booths to provide information about the Bank on program. Steve is attending the Compassion Connect event on Saturday, and we may table the Veterans’ event. There was discussion about getting a booth at the County Fair and the Farmer’s Market. Giving out freebies, such as the ones we have, helps to attract interest at fairs. A poster would also be good for those occasions, and possibly a Bank on banner.

All agreed Social service agencies will be critical to increasing participation in the program. Steve agreed to continue contacting agencies to arrange presentations on Bank on. He is trying to arrange a presentation to the Union Gospel Mission. Presentations have been agreed to by DSHS and CSHS. Steve will follow up with CSHS about presentation scheduling. Some other groups we should set them up with are the Farmworkers Clinic and SE Community Center. Worksource and OIC would be good to work with, but we haven’t been able to get through to them so far.

Bank on Washington Update: The state continues to explore ways to initiate a state wide Bank on program. Funding and staff support or the biggest hurdles to overcome. This remains a high interest of elected officials and the Dept of Commerce.

Meeting with Federal Reserve Bank: Dave reiterated that in June he met with Craig Nolte, Regional Manager, San Francisco Federal Reserve, to discuss our progress with Bank on Yakima. Mr Nolte said he would like to arrange a meeting (including a meal) to discuss the advantages of the Bank on initiative in helping banks meet their Community Reinvestment requirements. This would likely be scheduled in late Summer or early Fall timeframe.

Use of Testimonials: There was a discussion of how to effectively use testimonials. Wells Fargo and DSHS have both received positive feedback from clients about the program. Steve agreed to add testimonials to the Bank on website (www.bankonyakima.org).

Effort to Get Bank on Story in Local Newspapers: Michelle Smith has been trying to get something in the paper to no avail. She will try to contact the print media again. Dave has had no success with a Herald staff member either. Everyone agreed we should continue efforts to get the print media to do a human interest story on Bank on Yakima County, perhaps with a testimonial on how this has impacted their life.

Possible New Bank on Member: Americanwest has shown interest in participating in the Bank on program.

Recruitment of Next VISTA: Dave reported we will be recruiting Steve’s replacement in Sep 2010 with the goal of having a person in place by the time Steve leaves in Jan 2011.
Meeting Frequency: Following a brief discussion, everyone agree bi-monthly meetings would meet our needs.

Next Meeting: September 14, 7:30am, at CCU Boardroom.

Recorded by,

Steve Loeb
Americorps VISTA