Clifford Rosenthal, Luncheon Keynote

October 25-26, 2012 | St. Louis Mo.

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about the event | conference materials

October 25, 2012

   What's All the Buzz About? (3:05)

   Welcome, Julie Stackhouse (10:39)

   Ray Boshara: Why Financial Inclusion Matters (18:23)

   Opening Keynote: Melissa Koide (25:46)

   Opening Keynote Panel (15:57)

Plenary Session One: Who are the Unbanked and Underbanked?
   Moderator: Jennifer Tescher (8:36)
   Presenter: Keith Ernst (22:33)
   Presenter: Lisa Locke (12:10)
   Presenter: Steven Shepelwich (8:36)
   Plenary Session One Panel Discussion (36:26)

Luncheon Keynote
   Introduction: Yvonne Sparks (3:31)
now playing  Luncheon Keynote: Clifford Rosenthal (38:45)

Session Two: What Products Exist to Meet Their Needs?
   Overview: Louisa Quittman (5:26)

- Track One: Payment Products
   Moderator: Terri Bradford (5:23)
   Presenter: Haydeé Moreno (18:19)
   Presenter: John Thompson (11:20)
   Presenter: John Metz (14:57)
   Track One Panel Discussion (26:10)

- Track Two: Credit Products
   Moderator: Vikki Frank (13:01)
   Presenter: Sheri Flanigan-Vazquez (13:36)
   Presenter: Paul Woodruff (12:12)
   Presenter: Laura Castro de Cortés (7:51)
   Presenter: Jonathan Harrison (12:13)
   Track Two Panel Discussion (9:32)

- Track Three: Savings Products
   Full Session (1:11:25)

October 26, 2012

   Day Two Opening Keynote Introduction: Ray Boshara (4:11)

   Day Two Opening Keynote: Jennifer Tescher (30:24)

- Plenary Session Three: Distribution Channels – Mobile Financial Services
   Moderator: Royce Sutton (4:17)
   Presenter: Marianne Crowe (23:33)
   Presenter: Jeanne Hogarth (19:02)
   Plenary Session Three Panel Discussion (9:18)

- Plenary Session Four: Distribution Channels – Tech vs. Touch
   Moderator: Sarah Gordon (5:33)
   Presenter: Tina Lentz (6:30)
   Presenter: Patricia Hasson (8:09)
   Presenter: Laura Castro de Cortes (7:48)
   Presenter: Suresh Ramamurthi (6:44)
   Plenary Session Four Panel Discussion (34:50)

   Closing Plenary: Reflection and Synthesis on Forging Pathways to Wealth-Building Financial Services (44:35)

   Wrap-up and Adjourn: Ray Boshara (3:24)


Clifford Rosenthal: Thanks. Are you cold enough? (Laughter) Excellent. You know, I’ve got the dreaded after lunch spot, and I know how your levels will drop like that and so forth. So I’m going to try to keep you engaged as much as I can.

As Yvonne said, I left The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions on May 5th and started The Consumer Federation, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—you see, I’m still having trouble with the name. After having 32 years at the Federation. And I’ve got to say that this strange transition from the community sector to become a Fed was made vastly easier by two staff members who are here, I would like to introduce. Patty Avery and Sarah Baton-Conner [phonetic 01:02] toward the back. Just stand up for a moment, would you?


Great. Thank you. So I want to thank the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, and particularly Julie Stackhouse and Ray Boshara and Yvonne Sparks for inviting me here. It’s a real pleasure. As well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Treasury and CFSI, many old friends.

Let me start by a disclaimer. I know Melissa Koide. Never worked for me; I never worked for her; never was intern. And I don’t know her children either. However, I was inspired by her story about Simon, because Simon allegedly or prospectively has an interest in Russian literature. Now in ancient times my first career, I started as a Russian historian because I was so engaged in Russian literature, as a matter of fact. And what I would bring in about this I went to graduate school in the late sixties and early seventies. I was the first one in my family to go to college. Tuition was $1,450. Not a day, not a month, but for a whole year. Sound strange? And I got a scholarship. So I emerged from college without debt.

And I went to graduate school. And I had fellowships there, including a national defense foreign language fellowship, when Russia was the enemy in the world. And so I emerged from graduate school without debt.

So my advice actually to Melissa is it’s great he’s going to be interested in Russian literature. You should start saving now if you haven’t already.


And here’s the moral. That, you know, we were able to get my daughter through college in significant part because my parents who came out of the Depression were buying savings bonds by the time my daughter was born. And by the time she got to college we had a considerable leg up on getting her there.

I will tell you that it’s been a different story for my stepson who had a fine career in public and private education teaching and then decided to go to graduate school and spend seven years getting doctorate in education. And has emerged with a tremendous debt burden. And, you know, I would just like to use that to sort of characterize and dramatize the sort of generational changes in the economy that we face. It’s different now. It’s different for all of our kids and for those of you whose children are still young and have to look toward the future.

So what I’d like to do is give you a little bit of CFPB 101. How many people know the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? I bet you all do and so forth. How many people think that Elizabeth Warren runs it?


Pretty good. You’re doing great now. How many people know that Richard Codray the Attorney General of Ohio runs it? Okay, great. Anybody work with Richard when he was in Ohio? Great. All the better.

So this is an exciting new agency. What could have made me abandon the career and the movement I loved for 32 years working with low income credit unions to become a federal employee with all the interesting things that you learn about how the government works. It was because of this start-up agency that is trying to do something very unique and to change the marketplace and make it accessible and fair for all consumers. To rid the marketplace as much as possible of unfair, deceptive and abusive practices, or UDAP for short, as we talk about it.

So the Bureau has about six divisions to it. They are the ones that mostly you won’t come in contact with that much, Operations and Legal. You will come in contact with our External Community Affairs, but there are three divisions or offices of the Bureau that are particularly encaged in much of the work that you see on the street. And very critically it’s the Office of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending.

Alongside of that is the Office of Research, Markets and Regulations, which is, you know, all these unyielding names represent kind of a concept, RMR for short. It’s based on the notion that if you are going to regulate you really have to have a very thorough understanding of the markets and the trends in it, and those things had to be very joined together.

And, finally, the office that, the division which I’m in, which is Consumer Education and Engagement, which consists of six parts as well. But particularly, what I think is distinctive about the arrangement here is by Dodd-Frank mandate there are certain offices that have been charged with addressing the needs of particular populations. Such as service members. That office is run by Holly Petraeus. You’ll know the name. She’s wife of General David Petraeus. The Office of Older Americans, another famous name, run by Hubert Humphrey, III, known as SKIP. The Office of Student Affairs and The Office of Financial Education are my close colleagues.

So I’m the Assistant Director in charge for The Office of Financial Empowerment, which once again is dedicated to specifically serving low income populations. So we have at once what’s a tremendously broad mandate, which is a good thing in many ways. On the other hand, we don’t have the narrow directives from Dodd-Frank like some of our colleagues have, which is you shall do this and produce such and such a report and such and such a regulation. So on some mornings you wake up and think, well, our office is responsible for the 46 million people in poverty, and arguably the other 50 million people that are within twice the poverty level. And you add it up and it’s nearly a third of the population of the United States. And that’s pretty overwhelming to us.

So in all honesty we’re trying to get our arms wrapped around this right now. We don’t have to do it alone. We think that these other offices that are concerned for low income people, interpenetrate with the work of some of the other offices as well. But they have done some really terrific things in the past few months really, because we all are operating on a very tight timetable.

So, for example, in terms of students, and this touches very much on my previous comments, they developed fact sheets with the Department of Education, essentially a financial aid shopping sheet. Know Before You Owe. That people often don’t go into the business of taking student loans with understanding the full implications of debt for them.

And the final version of this sheet has been adopted by colleges and universities that represent over 1.4 million students, they’ve pledged to adopt this shopping sheet.

They’ve developed web tools as well. So by going to our website you’ll be able to find those. They’re studying the private student loan market. And what we’ve seen, as you know, a bubble in the mortgage market as well, and servicing abuses. Well, there are a lot of difficulties that young people burdened with student debt have to deal with in resolving their issues and so forth.

In addition, that office is really to report on the servicing problems faced by members of the military who may have student loans.

Older Americans, what have they been doing? They’ve been setting reverse mortgages, which you will see advertised on TV with some formerly well-known TV and movie stars, one of whom actually ran for President, the other who had a long, distinguished career for Law and Order on TV. So he’s selling them and I think Robert Stack is selling it as well. But it’s a complicated process and it’s not that easy. And it’s one area that our colleagues in the Older Americans Office have worked on.

They’re partnering with the FDIC on Money Smarts for Older Adults. And largely what their efforts are directed at is trying to eliminate elder exploitation, which is a widespread problem. Could I ask by a show of hands how many of you may have been engaged through your organizations or regulatory agencies? Just a few. Just a few. It’s a big, and obviously a very acute problem. So they’re going to be developing guides to help those who are appointed guardians or conservators for older adults to understand fiduciary standards. And, again, for people, you know, I’m of the baby boom generation. There are really a lot of us. And while in the sixties we thought we were going to live forever, and we were going to be young forever, we’re not. And there are a lot of us and we’re going to need help managing our finances. I’ll say that quite frankly. And the results of the recession as well are not making it easier for a lot of people in our co-ward 00:10:53 who are now in that area.

One of the things they’re trying to do, and, again, this is a crucial function of the Bureau, is to basically bring transparency and clarity to the marketplace. So there are scores and scores of designations of people who would like to present themselves as advisors to older people in financial matters. So what our colleagues are doing is trying to bring some clarity to that marketplace and identify what certifications matter, what really represents the ability to provide expertise rather than, hey, I’m a financial advisor. I took four hours’ worth of courses on counseling adults, and therefore you should trust me.

So that’s another serious area. And they’re in the early stages of organizing models of networks to prevent elder financial abuse, which is shockingly widespread, in fact.

So all of these other areas speak to the very heart of the Bureau’s function of protection.

In terms of the areas, the events and public engagements that may have attracted your attention, were several that were major fines and penalties of very prominent financial institutions. Namely Capital One and American Express and Discover Cards. That the Bureau’s action, taken in conjunction with other federal agencies, resulted in settlements in excess of $400 million dollars. About $425 million dollars, much of which goes directly to the consumers that may have been victimized by misleading or abusive tactics. So, you know, we’re all kind of metrics driven and that’s kind of a nice number that you can point to. $425 million returned to American consumers.

The mission of the Bureau is, if I can borrow from probably the original series, I don’t know if they kept is further on, to boldly go where no agency has gone before.


What do I mean by that? Banks? Yes. Okay, so at what level does the, here’s another question for you, does the Bureau assume supervisory and enforcement authority over banks? One billion? Ten billion? A hundred billion or a trillion? One billion? A show of hands? Ten billion? A hundred billion? Oh, you guys are too smart. Ten billion. Ten billion. So it has direct and supervisory enforcement power over banks with ten billion or above. And also credit unions. So there are three credit unions at that level – Navy Federal, which is pushing $50 billion. North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union, which is represented here, which has about $27 billion dollars. And Pentagon Federal Credit Union. And I think BUCU from Washington State is about to join those ranks.

So, yeah, it’s banks, but it is also credit reporting agencies, particularly those of substantial size. The big three plus many others, including specialized ones. It’s the non-bank mortgage lenders and mortgage servicers as well. It’s the payday lenders. It’s debt collectors as well. And just, I think, two days ago Mr. Codray was out in Seattle speaking about debt collection practices as well.

And remittances also. The remittance rules are going to become final in February. And, again, much of the action of the Bureau is directed toward disclosure and transparency. And the remittance area is one in which you’d go to a vendor on it and presume, you know, you might be sending money back to Mexico, to Latin America, or whatever. You wouldn’t know what’s going to get through at the other end. You wouldn’t know necessarily the exchange rate, the fees, and so forth. So what the Bureau has been doing is developing rules that will be effective next February in terms of clarifying, requiring clarification of the fees and expenses associated with that.

So, you know, really, truly I guess I can speak as much as a newbie. I’m just really impressed at the tremendous range of areas that the Bureau is engaged with. Many, many parts of the market.

So I think the other thing that’s distinctive about the Bureau is the great lengths to which the Bureau goes to solicit input and information from the public. The Bureau tries to get out into the field every month. Now, in fact, St. Louis has been an area that you’re probably sick of seeing CFPD guys, because the Consumer Advisory Board met here and there’s a research event. My boss is at another event in St. Louis today and so forth. So it tries to get out, and it’s had hearings really pretty much on a monthly basis on a whole bunch of areas.

And going back to September 2011 in Philadelphia, it was about general priorities. Last year also, student lending and credit cards. This year the Bureau went to Birmingham, Alabama to meet with the community on payday lending. In March in New York City about overdraft. In May in Durham, North Carolina about prepaid, which is obviously a very big topic that you’ll be discussing in great detail. In July about credit reporting. And just this month about debt collection. It’s one of the many ways in which the Bureau is reaching out to get engagement.

And I think that all of you who are in the consumer business probably know, but there is a consumer response line at the Bureau. And, in fact, some statistics, over the course of 15 months, approximately 82,000 complaints have come to the Bureau’s attention, whether through the web or telephone and so forth.

The most common complaints concern mortgage lending and servicing, followed by credit cards. Student loans are a growing area as well. As well as bank services and so forth. So what the Bureau has done is sort of sequentially added another and yet another area for complaints about that.

That’s not the only way though. There’s also a function on the website called Tell Your Story, in which people get to tell, without a formal complaint, their experiences with financial institutions and services, whether positive or negative about that.

The Consumer Advisory Board, which you know just met here. In addition to that there were two others that were not by mandate, but I think are quite significant and reflective. One is the Credit Union Advisory Committee. And the other is the Community Bank Advisory Committee. And both of those met in October as well.

Again, it goes beyond the statutory mandate. It goes to institutions that are under that $10 billion dollar mark and that are not the direct subject or direct object of supervision and enforcement. But it’s been an important way that the Bureau listens.

So what have we done in our office of Financial Empowerment? Well, we put a very high value on our function of listening sessions. And in all honesty, it’s probably the most rewarding part of certainly my job and maybe my staffs’ job as well, the opportunity to meet with people on the ground in cities and areas around the country. So we’ve been to New York, to San Francisco, to Dallas, to McAllen, Texas, to Seattle, to Cincinnati. And yesterday to St. Louis.

So what have we learned from these encounters? And, again, much of this is probably going to be familiar to you. And after many years in the field I thought that I sort of knew it all. And you don’t. You really don’t, until you’re talking to people in the communities about it. You don’t know what the most pressing problems are and so forth.

And what we’ve learned meeting from front line staff in these various cities are about the frustrations that low income consumers face in getting bank accounts, the reasons that they don’t seek bank accounts. And you heard some of them, particularly from Steve. The issues including cost in using some of the new products, and those that depend on that.

We’ve heard about innovations. People think innovations. Well, that sounds like a good thing. We’ve heard about things that would probably, to me, to my mind, qualify as innovations and are a little scary. For example, when we were down in Dallas, Texas we heard that there are shops that specialize in renting tires. Not automobiles. Not leasing automobiles and so forth. But renting tires, renting car radios. To me that reflects how close to the edge a lot of people are living. And I think you know as well as I that there is probably no bounds to the inventiveness of folks trying to squeeze out income from people who are living on the edges.

The area of prepaid cards, which is looming enormous on our radar and many of yours as well. So we were in Brooklyn, New York speaking to some financial coaches there. And they say you know what’s a real problem is these celebrity endorsed prepaid cards. And you see such and such a singer on it and think, oh, you know, I will reflect my affinity with her or with him by buying this card, which is not necessarily the best deal for you. I mean, that’s real stuff. Most of us don’t necessarily do that. We may be very informed shoppers looking to compare and things like that, but you can’t underestimate the marketing power and the impact on low income communities as well.

We’ve heard that, and you probably know this too, that people are afraid to check their credit scores because they think that they’re worse than they actually are. And that’s a real problem on that. You know, I guess you could consider it on the psychological part, and perhaps, you know, behaviorists’ efforts to change people’s attitudes and so forth could be helpful in this area. But they’re afraid to check their credit scores. And they don’t know how to. They’re unable to check for the inaccuracies. I mean, you know, having a dispute resolution in place and a way to check does not automatically reach, I think in my personal opinion, the outcomes that we’re all trying to achieve on that.

On the other hand, we’ve heard, and this is what sustains us, about some of the really inspiring success stories that organizations that do financial counseling and coaching do. I was in Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago at a luncheon, an award luncheon for some people who had graduated from a coaching program there, including a woman who retired after a 30-year career in nursing on disability. And Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. There’s very often a 20 percent copay. And if you have serious medical procedures it adds up and you’re responsible for them. And this person who had a long career, and long and very honorable working career found herself overwhelmed by debt. And with the help of this organization she was able to clear 45 separate debts that she owed. And that’s really a great thing.

They were also able to help immigrant women from West Africa, you know, who came to this country with very little knowledge of the financial system. And after a while working with this organization was able to be put on a path that eventually led to home ownership.

So we’ve talked a lot about banked and unbanked and underbanked and so forth. I think it’s important to state the obvious that not all unbanked people are low income. Not all low income people are unbanked or underbanked and so forth. So when we talk about our Office of Financial Empowerment we talk about low income and other economically vulnerable people. You know, we’re all keyed to the poverty statistics and so forth. And we know if you’ve got $23,000 for a family of three, you’ve got a pretty difficult sledding. But if you’ve been out of work for 60 months and then get a job at $55,000 a year, and you’re behind three months or six months on your home payments and so forth you’re economically vulnerable. And we’re certainly interested in finding ways to intervene there.

The other figure that I would bring in on it is that while bank status is tremendously important, you know, let’s tie it to the other things that we know and CFED often talks about this, the proportion of people, about 43 percent of households that are liquid asset poor. Namely, can’t scrape by for three months, more than three months at the poverty level. And I think that they have basically, as you know, little to no financial cushion for an unexpected event that interrupts their stream of income.

It’s really sobering. I mean, these are big numbers. I mean, 43 percent of the population, 150 million people living with liquid asset poverty. It’s pretty overwhelming.

So how do we address this issue, this massive task? Well, for one thing, we have to look at all aspects of people’s financial relationships - Transactions and payments, credit and savings. And I was very pleased to see the three tracts that you have this counts. Great minds, obviously, think alike. And we won’t put ourselves in your class, but we indeed think about it that way.

And, obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of innovation going on in each of these areas. But the bottom line for us in Financial Empowerment very simply is will the new product and services improve and promote the financial stability and financial health of the households that are living close to the edge? You know, and, again, this is personal, although I’m sure you’ve experienced it, 20 years ago most of us didn’t have cable and our communications bill, if you had a telephone line and it probably cost you $35, $50 a month. And you may not have had call waiting. You may not have had conferencing. You may not have had the phone following you around wherever you go and so forth. What are your communications expenses now? A couple of hundred a month? $300 a month? Count in cable. Count in internet and so forth. My point in this being only that innovation is great; it’s inevitable. It has tremendous potential. But I think from the point of view of an office that’s concerned with low income people, we’ve got to make sure that innovation bring great affordability, or at least don’t increase the share of budget that low income people face.

So financial product and services obviously are tremendously important. But we’re also going to be focused on, and our folks really, on delivery channels. And especially through our meetings around the country. We’ve been interested in integrated approaches. The various one-stops, the bundling of products, the comprehensive and holistic programs and service models that attempt to meet people where they’re at. Everything from budget counseling and coaching to debt counseling and reduction, to savings incentive to EITC and so forth. The insight and I will public acknowledge my own personal debt for the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, which I was formerly on the Board of, the Advisory Board of New York City, so I owe a great debt in my thinking to those folks and to San Francisco as well.

So a key insight is that you’ve got to reach people at their touchpoints, where they’re interacting with the agencies and programs and services and benefits that affect their lives for low income and other economically vulnerable people.

Is it high tech? You know, I guess we think that some sort of synthesis of high tech and high touch is likely going to be the shape of a solution that will be effective. That’s not an official policy, but that’s just sort of a working hypothesis on it.

So what are some of the specific steps that we’ve done using these insights? Well, on our own and in conjunction and partnership with The Office of Financial Education, we recently contracted for a financial capability research project that Sarah Baton-Conner and our staff is managing. And essentially this is a process of gathering information on the various approaches to building financial capability, whether it’s through these integrated service models or whether it’s through the bundling of products, whether credit, with savings or transaction, with savings and so forth.

With The Office of Financial Education, our colleagues there, we’ll be working to identify innovative approaches that are helpful for low income consumers, that embody the insights from behavioral economics. Again, I’m sure all of you know behavioral economics has so much influence, the forward thinking of our field over the last number of years. And our hope is to find promising behavioral approaches that can be rigorously evaluated and then brought to the pilot stage.

Another insight that we’ve gotten and that we have pursued through a contract is the development of toolkits that can equip front-line case managers with knowledge of basic financial empowerment principles and resources. So what we found, and this is probably not a surprise to many of you, to quote Patty and her staff from her field research on this stuff, many social workers are more comfortable talking about family planning/sex than they are at talking about financial issues. That’s a real problem. That’s a real problem. And what we are going to try to do is look at some of the promising approaches that have been developed out there already and see what can be further developed and piloted, and through a train the trainer approach be circulated very broadly throughout the social service delivery system.

Finally, we’re working with a broad coalition of organizations to promote EITC and savings at tax time, which I know that many of you have been involved with as well. So we’re going to be testing out public awareness campaigns, including a couple of locales around the country with some pre-filing information that aims at elevating the concept of savings and encouraging people to think about savings as they approach EITC season.

So in closing, I want to just describe the major themes that we formulated. And, again, disclosure. I’ve been there for six months. I’m still learning about this process. One insight and what really guides our thinking is certainly a level of humility on that stuff. We have a sense of the tremendous and varied work that has been done by so many organizations around the country. We think it’s highly unlikely we’re going to reinvent the wheels; that hopefully what we can do is identify some of the most promising and emerging practices to see if there’s some that through evaluation and so forth, that we can help bring to the next stage, that we can provide some tailwind. That having the privilege of being at the federal level, whether we can work with our colleagues, and Treasury is foremost among them, to bring some coherence and some coordination to the various agencies. And there are many that are doing pieces of that and so forth.

And what is going to drive us basically are five themes. Innovation. What’s promising, safe and affordable and helpful for low income and economically vulnerable people. Data. The Bureau very much sees itself as a data-drive agency. But for us specifically, what do we know? What can we learn? And what is actually working or not for the populations that we care about? So many initiatives on the ground, so many parallel efforts doing sort of similar things. But one of the things that we’re going to be looking at is, is it possible for us to think about any sort of national guidelines or standards for the field that can accelerate the entry of additional organizations into this field, and can help us get more uniform results?

Collaboration. Again, how we collaborate with other federal agencies as well as community organizations. Access. And, again, this is hopefully an effort to bring the various pieces together, whether it’s product, whether it’s financial institution. What do we know about the patterns, the problems, and the past for low income and other economically vulnerable people to access financial institutions and financial services? And the FDIC study is, of course, enormously important for us.

And, finally, and most important of all, what can we do to promote scale. Among the various, brilliant ideas and terrific work that’s going on out there, how we can help give impetus and momentum to them? How can we help in our particular capacity to bring them to scale?

So those are the challenges that we face. And it’s an exciting time to do this. I mean, we face on the one hand the tremendous problems, economic problems that you are very well familiar with in the country. On the other hand, I really truly am encouraged and optimistic when I hear the creative smart things that organizations around this country are doing. And we’re going to find a way to make an awful lot of progress in the next year or two.

Thank you.


Yvonne Sparks: Thank you, Cliff. I think we have room for one quick question before we invite Louisa up to introduce the next session. We heard you talk about what you’ve learned across the country, and the products and services that you are interested in. We had one question that we were interested in hearing about. Based on your experience at the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, what role do you think that credit unions and other non-bank institutions have in helping to create products and services to help low income people build wealth? And what innovations have you seen in that space around that issue?

Clifford Rosenthal: Okay, I’m trying to remember what my current head is as opposed to my past head on it. What I will tell you, and again I will offer the disclaimer, is that we don’t endorse anything at this point. But we spent yesterday visiting with organizations in the St. Louis community. We had a roundtable that was kindly facilitated by Matt Ashby of the Federal Reserve Bank, and heard a lot from the community. We heard a lot about the issues that are going on, and did some site visits, including one to the MET Center in St. Louis. Are you family with that, anybody? A multi-service facility. And this is not the only one around the country. I was in Cincinnati recently and visited an emerging multi-service center as well, which has been inspired by the one in St. Louis. But what was of particular interest to us was that there is a financial institution that co-located in the MET Center. And it happened to be St. Louis Community Credit Union, which is represented at this meeting as well.

And we also happened to visit a financial education center that they were involved in. But what was interesting though, some people may know that credit unions and banks don’t always get together and see things the same way. That particular initiative was also being supported by a local bank. So I think that, one thing that I would say is that I think that there’s a growing awareness, not only among credit unions, but among many banks, community banks and others, of the need to get together and support these sorts of efforts.

We think that along with those lines that there are interesting efforts in terms of trying to find ways to provide small dollar loans as well in an economically sustainable way. There’s a lot of data that needs to be connected. You hear very different analysis and justifications of various cost structures on it. So I know that the FDIC had their pilot and so forth. And I think that we need to know a great deal more about it and see whether these are ideas and approaches that are scalable.

Yvonne Sparks: Thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s show our appreciation to Cliff. Thank you.


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