Financial commitment represents common goal between the financial institution and the nonprofit to teach underserved communities the "language of money" 


— Vice Chairman and Head of Consumer Banking at U.S. Bancorp Rick C. Hartnack, who is also vice chairman of the board for Operation HOPE, and Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant announced today the bank's continuing and expanded relationship with a $1.75 million, 5-year commitment from U.S. Bank to support the national financial literacy empowerment work of Operation HOPE, on-the-ground in communities where HOPE and U.S. Bank operate. Watch Hartnack's announcement here.

U.S. Bank actively supports HOPE and this pledge will help to expand programs aimed at financial literacy training for youth and adults, and was inspired by the framework agreement between Operation HOPE and the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE, signed at last year's HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit.

U.S. Bancorp's Chairman, President and CEO Richard K. Davis is also chairman of the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE and in this position will encourage other C-Suite leaders to follow his lead in making financial literacy a high-level business priority.  

"Our financial system has the capability to make dreams come true for millions of Americans if they are trained to use the system intelligently. Our mission and mandate at Operation HOPE is to help make free enterprise and capitalism work for the poor and the underserved," said John Hope Bryant. "U.S. Bank's pledge will help Operation HOPE's 'silver rights' mission to eradicate poverty and build wealth by providing people with a practical skill set and the ability to understand the 'language of money.'" 

After thoughtful discussions, U.S. Bank and HOPE decided to amplify their relationship and bring the message of financial literacy to more communities. The result is a 5-year, $1.75 million promise to enhance HOPE initiatives starting in 2010. The pledge includes $200,000 of financial and in-kind support of the Financial Literacy Empowerment Center in Maywood, CA, along with a $100,000 yearly contribution to help fund the initiatives being advanced by the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE at Operation HOPE.

"We simply cannot have the most sophisticated financial system in the world without our people being educated to participate in that system," explained Hartnack.  "Not breaking that cycle of ignorance ensures that an economic crisis like the one we just experienced will surely repeat itself." 

U.S. Bank and Operation HOPE share the view that the best way to deal with the current economic crisis and to help prevent it from happening again is to recognize that our first concern should be to help people get out of the untenable situations they are in — through loan modifications and other pro-active assistance. The second objective, shared by all the members of the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE, is to ensure that false barriers do not impede the flow of credit to the American consumer with less than an 800 credit score; that credit is available to all who need it and have demonstrated that they can use it wisely. Finally, to make sure that a crisis of this magnitude does not repeat itself, all financial institutions need to guarantee that American consumers are educated in the effective, safe and wise use of the financial system for credit, savings, inv esting, home purchases, retirement planning, life insurance and the myriad of other products available to the American household. 

Quoting Bryant, "post-global economic crisis, financial literacy is the new civil rights issue of our generation and the first global silver rights empowerment tool for the next."  U.S. Bank has been a supporter of HOPE programs aimed at youth financial literacy in Los Angeles and Denver schools for several years.  In addition, through its acquisition of CalNational Bank in Los Angeles, U.S. Bank has taken over annual financial support of the HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center in Maywood, CA that has been targeting at-risk adults with on-site financial literacy training. 

In making these financial commitments to HOPE, U.S. Bank strives to encourage other financial service organizations to join the Silver Rights Movement making financial literacy a national priority and an essential objective of every financial service provider in America.   

About U.S. Bancorp

U.S. Bancorp, with $282 billion in assets as of March 31, 2010, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,025 banking offices in 24 states and 5,312 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

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 70 major U.S. cities and seven 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 HOPE has delivered services to more than 1.2 million low-wealth individuals and assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. Ambassador Andrew Young, senior aide to Dr. King in the civil rights movement, serves as global spokesman for Operation HOPE and along with music icon Quincy Jones, serves as co-chair to 5MK (FIVE MILLL ION KIDS), a HOPE initiative aimed at breaking the high school dropout epidemic in America. To learn more about HOPE, visit www.operationhope.organd, or read our blog

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