Banking help for those without accounts

January 30, 2008 12:00 am

A new initiative, called "Bank on California," will make California the first state in the nation to launch an effort to help working Californians without bank accounts to open accounts.

The initiative, recently launched by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will help more low-and middle-income Californians establish savings, build a credit history, gain access to lower-cost sources of credit and invest in the future.

"Bank on California" will be a voluntary collaborative effort shared by financial institutions, city mayors, federal bank regulatory agencies and community groups.

The initiative will increase the availability of starter accounts and educate Californians without bank accounts about the benefits of account ownership. It also strives to diversify coalitions of financial institutions, regulators, city mayors and nonprofit organizations in key areas, and build the money management skills of California children and adults.