About Us

About Us
Bank On Charleston works to connect you to safe and affordable financial products and services and to resources to help you achieve your financial goals!

Our Mission

Bank On Charleston is a coalition of local organizations, financial institutions, and the City of Charleston to bring financial empowerment to the citizens of Charleston. We provide information and assistance in opening a safe and affordable checking account. Bank On Charleston also provides financial educational opportunities. It is never too late to learn about and join mainstream financial institutions. Everyone is welcome!

Why Bank?

Cost savings: The average unbanked person spends 5% of net income on unnecessary fees for alternative financial services. This can amount to $40,000 over a lifetime—a significant amount for those who can least afford it.

Asset building: Without a bank account, a family lacks the ability to save reliably or automatically, or establish a banking relationship that can lead to accessing affordable credit for opportunities like a car, small business, or home mortgage.

Financial stability: Research shows that being unbanked makes it harder to achieve financial goals like reducing debt and improving credit scores. One recent CFE Fund study found that unbanked financial counseling clients were less than half as likely to be able to save, and over a third less likely to establish credit, as banked clients.

Public safety: Without a safe place to deposit their money, unbanked people are more likely to be victims of crime because they often carry large sums of cash or keep cash in their homes. The elderly, disabled, and undocumented immigrants can be particularly vulnerable.

The Bank On Movement

Bank On Charleston is proud to be part of the national Bank On movement, made up of over 80 similar local coalitions across the country.

The nonprofit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) is the national partner for local Bank On coalitions, supporting local efforts through resources like the Bank On National Account Standards and accompanying certification, grant support to build local coalition capacity, and a robust learning community. The CFE Fund also works to give voice to local coalition experiences by informing both federal regulatory policy and financial institution practices.