Washington DC 007

Capitol Hill function to focus on landmark agreement between Operation HOPE and
the coalition of the America’s 100 most powerful banks

WASHINGTON, DC – March 17, 2010 – “Silver rights” entrepreneur and Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant participated in an event focused on bringing the landmark financial industry agreement between HOPE and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) to the attention of Congress as the FSR announces the results from the Roundtable’s Community Service 2009 initiative. The event, held on Capitol Hill, received the support of Congresswoman Dr. Diane E. Watson along with other members of Congress and several influential financial industry companies and nonprofits including NeighborWorks® America, Habitat for Humanity and Jump$tart Coalition.

FSR President and CEO Steve Bartlett reported that through the support of 300,000 Roundtable-member company employees, 9.4 million Americans were helped in the past year. Of these organizations, more than 25% of them were focused in the area of financial literacy, a figure which underlines the seriousness of the economic crisis.

“Public service is both our responsibility and an integral part of our companies’ business models” said Bartlett. “As evidenced by this tremendous year, we work hard to serve the communities in which we live and work.”

“In light of the economic crisis, the need for financial literacy and “silver rights” is greater than ever,” said Bryant, who also served as vice chairman of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. “The results of this partnership reflect the power of teamwork and what can be accomplished with a common goal.”

“Having a free market system where underserved communities and low-wealth individuals don’t have access to capital is a highly sophisticated form of slavery. It’s an American issue, it’s a global issue and it’s a human rights issue.” Bryant continued, “working with the FSR to bring about meaningful strides in making financial literacy a priority is a powerful step forward for HOPE’s Silver Rights Movement.”

The joint Framework agreement (download/view it here) signed in June 2009 between HOPE and the FSR demonstrates the financial services industry’s commitment to financial literacy and outlines ten Partnership Principles. The principles center around promoting financial literacy through 1) National and Global Efforts 2) Consumer Protection 3) Retirement Security 4) Volunteer Commitment 5) Starting Early 6) Higher Education 7) Broad Incorporation of Non-profit Partners 8) Internet Support 9) Legislative Support and 10) Working Together.

The Financial Services Roundtable represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, and investment products and services to the American consumer. Member companies participate through the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives nominated by the CEO.

Roundtable-member companies provide fuel for America's economic engine, accounting directly for $85.2 trillion in managed assets, $980 billion in revenue, and 2.3 million jobs. For more on their results visit http://www.fsround.org/media/htm10/millions_americans_helped_through_cs09.html


About John Hope Bryant
Born February 6, 1966 John Bryant is an American financial literacy and poverty eradication activist, and "silver rights" entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, America’s first non-profit social investment banking organization, a leading self-help provider of economic empowerment tools and services for the underserved. His work to empower low-wealth communities has earned him a role as the Vice Chair of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and the Chairman of the Council’s Under-Served Committee. Bryant is author of the new bestselling book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World. To learn more about him visit www.operationhope.org or follow John Hope Bryant on Twitter at http://twitter.com/johnhopebryant.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE is America's leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 3500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 69 major U.S. cities and six provinces in South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders in financial literacy, economic empowerment and silver rights. Through international initiatives and its principal programs, Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, 1-888-388-HOPE, financial emergency preparedness and disaster relief), Walk-In HOPE Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), and our 10,000 strong volunteer HOPE Corps, Operation HOPE has delivered services to more than one million low-wealth individuals and assumed the responsibi lity of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. Senior aide to Dr. King in the civil rights movement, Ambassador Andrew Young, serves as global spokesman for Operation HOPE, and icons Quincy Jones and Ambassador Andrew Young co-chair 5MK (5 MILLLION KIDS), aimed at breaking the cycle of the high-school dropout epidemic in America. To learn more about HOPE, visit www.operationhope.org and www.5MK.org, or read our blog at www.operationhope.org/blog.

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