Press Conference and Roundtable Discussion to Focus on How Partnership Can Expand to Improve Lives of People in Underserved and "Underbanked" Communities and Build Trust in the Banking System

WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 12, 2007 — Federal Deposit of Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Sheila C. Bair will address the importance of financial literacy and revenue generation in low-wealth communities at a press conference and roundtable discussion hosted by Operation HOPE at 2509 Good Hope Road, SE.

Bair will discuss the FDIC’s recently issued Subprime Mortgage Lending Statement as well as Gallup Poll findings on the relevance of the FDIC’s "Money Smart" money management program. "The FDIC’s Money Smart program and Operation HOPE’s initiatives clearly show that financial education works and can make a significant difference in the way people save and spend their money," said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair. "We will continue to work with Operation HOPE on educational initiatives that help ‘unbanked’ families and individuals create opportunities to buy homes, start a business, or fix their credit and become a vital force in our system of free-enterprise."

Prior to the press conference, Bair toured the Operation HOPE Center, which offers financial literacy programs on credit repair; small business loans; and first time home buying; and met with local community members who have succeeded through these HOPE programs to become first-time home or business owners.

Since the D.C. flagship center opened in 2005, Operation HOPE has improved the economic quality life of nearly 14,000 residents in the Anacostia/Washington, D.C. area through its economic empowerment initiatives. Operation HOPE Chairman and Founder, John Hope Bryant will address the importance of promoting a "silver rights" bill, in order to break the bonds of poverty and empower underserved individuals by strengthening their right to readily access financial revenue streams.

According to Bryant, not understanding money is hard to admit for many Americans. "No one wants to admit they don’t understand money, but the fact is that 70% of all Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck," said Bryant. "We work to bring financial literacy and empowerment to underserved and ‘unbanked’ populations through our Silver Rights Movement, and believe this will bring the underserved and ‘unbanked’ into the financial mainstream." District of Columbia Public Schools representatives, Chiaying Chang, Ph.D. program coordinator and Robert L. Kight, assistant superintendent for academic support will share optimism on the recent partnership with Operation HOPE’s "Banking on Our Future" program. The award-winning youth financial literacy program is now offered in district’s middle and junior high schools to give students an understanding of fiscal responsibility and investment strategies. The program goal is empower students to control their financial resources and develop strategies for personal finances before they cultivate poor money management traits. Also providing support will be Councilmember Marion Barry of Ward 8, which includes the District of Columbia’s Southeast Anacostia where the Operation HOPE center is located.

About the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation’s 8,650 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars — insured financial institutions fund its operations. xxx

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