September 14 2010 Bank On Minutes

BANK ON YAKIMA COUNTY
Meeting Minutes 09/14/2010
NEXT MEETING TUES, OCT 19, AT 7:30AM
THE BOARDROOM AT CATHOLIC CREDIT UNION

Present: Cec Anson (CCU), Sue Ford (US Bank), Maria Garcia (RCDR), Dave Gilbreath (CCCSY), Luz Bazan Gutierez (RCDR), Sharynn Hosier (CCU), Steve Loeb (VISTA), Michelle Smith (CCU), Lance Stephens (UWCW), Bill Stevens (AARP)

Agenda: The agenda was approved after adding an item on how to promote Bank on at EITC tax sites.

Minutes: The July 13, 2010 minutes were approved as written (no August meeting).

Reports:

• Operations/training: Teller turnover has resulted in some new employees not being fully familiar with all aspects of the Bank On program.

• Tracking: Steve will be working with financial institutions to report tracking information via the Bank On website reporting system. There was a discussion about getting 2-1-1 data about how many callers call in about Bank On.

• Marketing: There was a good discussion of marketing strategy. Steve reported now is a good time to do ads because people have harvest money so we will run ads in Spanish-language media including Viva and El Sol. Luz agreed to review the English to Spanish translations. Discussed how savings accounts are popular with many Hispanic residents and how we could highlight low/no fees wire transfer services to make our ads more appealing. We will continue to strive to get the Yakima Herald to do a story on Bank on. Michelle and Sue agreed to pursue this further. Steve agreed to find a couple of testimonials and send to Michelle.

• Financial Literacy: Although the class schedule is on the website, demand for classes has been extremely low. CCCSYV hasn’t had anyone sign up for the CheckWise class and Luz reported a total of just three individuals having completed the class in Spanish. Financial incentives will likely improve attendance at these classes and we will likely have some additional grant money available for a financial incentive program. Some of the details to be worked out include how does the money flow once someone completes the class and how long does the account have to be open before the incentive money is available for withdrawal? Cec discussed the mechanics of doing the incentive program. She also saw an article about a direct deposit incentive program that she will forward to committee members. We can include a financial incentive in our advertising. After the brief discussion, everyone agreed on an incentive program offering $50 per graduate of an approved financial literacy class. Finally, everyone agreed, budget permitting, we should offer the incentive to the first 100 qualifying Bank on customers.

EITC Tax Site Update: Bill Stevens oversees the free tax preparation sites in the greater Yakima County area. He provided an overview of the EITC tax program and made suggestions on how we can promote Bank On at EITC sites, including having fliers and outreach material available at the various tax sites. We can also make a short presentation to AARP's Client Facilitators, to educate volunteer tax preparers on the Bank On program. Bill reported that last year, 68% of all e-filers at the tax sites sent their refund to a bank account via direct deposit.

Education/Outreach to Social Service Agencies: Dave sent an informational email on the Bank on program to over two dozen social service agencies in Yakima County. This included a brief discussion of Bank On, along with attached informational flyers. Bank On will be promoted and an upcoming Homeownership Fair in Granger on Oct 23, 2010. Steve reported that presentations to social service agencies have been going well and are a good way to promote the program long-term. We have done 4 presentations since our last meeting. In the near future, we are planning presentations for Nuestra Casa, Neighborhood Health, Northwest Harvest, the food bank in Toppenish and others.

Expanding Bank on Membership: There was a brief discussion of how to encourage participation by more financial institutions. Dave reported that AmericanWest and Key Bank are interested in joining. Regional CRA people are good to talk to in order to encourage local bank participation.

Recruiting New VISTA for YCABC Support: Dave reported we will be recruiting Steve’s replacement in October, with hopes of hiring someone by the end of the year. This will allow some overlap as Steve Loeb’s tenure ends in late Jan, 2011.

Bank on Washington Update: Steve and Dave will be attending the WABC on Oct 7, 2010. As reported earlier, the state continues to explore ways to initiate a state wide Bank on program; however, funding and staffing constraints continue to be the biggest obstacles to implementation.

Next Meeting: October 19, 7:30am, at CCU Boardroom.

Recorded by,

Steve Loeb
Americorps VISTA