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Mayor Gray Proclaims Financial Literacy Awareness Month 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mayor Gray Proclaims Financial Literacy Awareness Month 2013

Highlights District’s Programs to Boost Financial Awareness

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray kicked off Financial Literacy Awareness Month, highlighting financial-literacy programs and initiatives offered by the District government and its partners. Mayor Gray also outlined progress the District and its private-sector partners have made through the DC Financial Literacy Council and the Bank on DC program.

“One of my goals as Mayor is to ensure that all District residents have the tools they need to succeed – and increasing financial literacy is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty,” Mayor Gray said. “District government agencies and our private-sector and non-profit partners are working hard to create a more financially savvy city that is both prosperous and free of financial fraud.”

Since the Bank on DC program started in April 2010, it has signed up residents for 4,000 bank accounts, saving them an estimated $3.5 million in fees. However, 30 percent of District households still do not have savings accounts, according to a recent Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation survey. Almost a quarter of residents in the Washington metropolitan area are under-banked or un-banked, spending almost $800 a year on check-cashing fees.

The Mayor announced a city-wide calendar of financial literacy events this month. The events are open to everyone, and a full list is available on the website of the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) at disb.dc.gov with Bank on DC and the DC Financial Literacy Council.

Also speaking were:

• B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., president and CEO of the District’s Industrial Bank, which hosted the press conference and is one of only two banks chartered in the District;
• David Holt, director of community outreach of ClearPoint Credit Counseling and Solutions, which is working with the Hispanic community on financial literacy with Mexican consulates in 12 markets nationwide;
• And Tamara Haye Daufour, chair of the District’s Financial Literacy Council, which is working on recommendations for the District to improve financial literacy.

“I look forward to working with these groups and receiving and implementing the recommendations of the Financial Literacy Council so that the District becomes the most financially literate, the most banked and the most financially empowered city in the country,” Mayor Gray said.