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Citizens Financial Group Wins 2015 Joe Belew Award
Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money Program Focuses on Helping Low-Income Families in West Philadelphia
Today, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) announced Citizens Bank (NYSE: CFG) as the winner of the fifth annual Joe Belew Award, which honors community programs at CBA's member banks. In keeping with the theme of this year’s CBA LIVE, “The Consumer Agenda,” CBA presented the award to its member bank with the most innovative program focused on helping support financial education.
“CBA is committed to the goal of expanding financial education and improving consumers' understanding of financial products and services. We are proud of the many efforts our member banks undertake to increase financial education across country and across the globe, and applaud the work of this year’s winner – Citizens Bank,” said Richard Hunt, President and CEO of CBA.
Citizens, in partnership with Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and Clarifi, a regional nonprofit providing financial education, provides a comprehensive initiative in wealth building and entrepreneurship to increase financial stability in the Mantua community. Supported by a Citizens Bank Foundation grant and dedicated volunteer activity, the Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program directly serves those in deep poverty who have historically lacked the resources and support system to break the cycle of poverty and attain financial mobility.
Last year, through more than 20 financial education workshops and more than 400 counseling sessions, Citizens’ program impacted more than 720 low-come West Philadelphia individuals, families, and homeowners as they worked toward identifying and securing their most important assets. Almost half (44%) of the program’s efforts were geared toward reducing debt; another third (32%) addressed credit repair; a quarter (24%) created savings and spending plans; and a tenth (11%) acknowledged their banking challenges.
“We are honored to be recognized for our support for financial education,” said Brad Conner, Vice Chairman of Consumer Banking, who also serves on CBA’s Board of Directors. “Learning how to manage money is the first step people can take in understanding their financial goals and leading fiscally healthy lives, and we are committed to helping our customers and others in the communities we serve manage their finances and reach their financial goals.”
Citizens Bank will receive $5,000 to donate to the non-profit program partner of their choice, in recognition of their Financial Education Program. The Joe Belew Award was presented at CBA LIVE by CBA’s Chair-Elect Will Howle, Head of the U.S. Retail Bank, Citigroup Inc.
The Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program was selected from among 11 applications, which were reviewed by a selection committee of community reinvestment experts.
The Joe Belew Award was established in 2011 in memory of Joe Belew, former CBA president, to honor his commitment to community development. The award is an annual recognition of a CBA member bank which continues that legacy. Discover Bank, Wells Fargo, and First Niagara Financial Group are past winners of the award and recipients are selected by a volunteer subgroup of the CBA Community Reinvestment Committee.
The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.