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8 banks are better than one: FIs come together to tackle poverty

8 banks are better than one: FIs come together to tackle poverty

Posted on: June 17, 2016
Author: Susannah Cameron

Can a financial institution end poverty in Edmonton? Maybe not one alone.

An unprecedented eight financial institutions and three community-based partners have launched a new collaborative focused on helping Edmonton families and individuals out of poverty. The Financial Pathways Collaborative will help people living on low incomes build money management skills and budgeting practices, and access benefits and subsidies.

ATB Financial is a partner along with BMO, Canadian Western Bank, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, Servus Credit Union and TD Bank. Each partner has pledged financial support over the next three years, and more than 100 volunteers from these financial institutions will help deliver training and services.

“Individually, we’re strong. Together, we’re unstoppable,” says Sandra Huculak, Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility & Community Investment. “Poverty is bigger than any one of us, and we’ve set aside our competition and egos in pursuit of a higher goal.”

Community partners include E4C, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and the City of Edmonton. The idea is to take a pair of existing programs—Each One Teach One and Make Tax Time Pay–and scale them up using the combined expertise, community investment dollars, and people power of the partners.

Each One Teach One financial literacy workshops teach people about many aspects of managing finances like basic banking and budgeting, identity theft and fraud prevention, credit cards and prepaid cards, credit history and bureau, seniors financial abuse prevention and more.

Make Tax Time Pay is an E4C program that ATB also supports directly. The program helps individuals with low incomes file their tax returns and access important government benefits and subsidies.

Get more information on the Financial Pathways Collaborative at myunitedway.ca/financialpathways

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