Regions Bank Teams with Operation HOPE to Offer Free Financial Counseling in Missouri
HOPE Inside location to focus on helping more people take charge of their finances and become stakeholders in the community.
JUNE 23, 2015 – In support of a stronger North St. Louis County, Missouri, Regions Bank and Operation HOPE have opened a HOPE Inside location that will provide no-cost financial education and credit and money management counseling to underserved residents in the St. Louis area.
Initially, the HOPE Inside location will primarily be housed in Regions’ New Halls Ferry branch located at 11920 New Halls Ferry Road in Florissant. The HOPE Inside counseling will later move fulltime to a new Regions location that will be built along Lewis and Clark Boulevard in Jennings.
“Our work with HOPE Inside, and the investments we are making in our new location in Jennings, are a natural extension of our commitment to North St. Louis County,” said Mike Hart, Midwest area president for Regions Bank. “That commitment also includes sharing financial education for students and parents in local schools – as well as helping locally based small businesses grow and thrive. It’s a comprehensive approach designed to help more people in North County achieve success. When our communities succeed, we all succeed.”
Regions is providing workspace facilities within the branches and other support for HOPE Inside, enabling a certified financial counselor from Operation HOPE to meet with clients during Regions’ regular business hours. Counseling is provided free of charge and is available to the general public.
As in other locations where Regions and Operation HOPE provide this service, the counselor will work with clients to help them improve their credit scores, understand and use credit wisely, strengthen their overall financial management skills, and become better prepared to achieve homeownership, avoid foreclosure, or meet other financial goals. The free service is available regardless of whether the recipients are Regions customers.
“HOPE Inside has helped people nationwide take control of their finances, and we are excited to work with Regions Bank to bring these resources to people in Ferguson, Florissant, Jennings and surrounding areas of North St. Louis County,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant. “This is about creating a thriving economy in North St. Louis County through financial empowerment and financial dignity.”
HOPE Inside locations exist literally “inside” financial institutions, retail stores, supermarkets, local municipalities or community-based partners, allowing Operation HOPE to reach more people while cutting out the expensive overhead costs of running a financial education center. The HOPE Inside location at Regions will be the first HOPE Inside outreach in St. Louis County.
Locally based counseling will be provided by Bonita Williams, who has more than 10 years of financial services experience. A St. Louis native, Williams has served clients throughout North St. Louis County for several years. Before transitioning to her new role as a HOPE Inside financial counselor with Operation HOPE, Williams worked for Regions Bank to provide financial education programs and additional services for low-to-moderate-income clients. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in consumer economics from the University of Missouri and a Master of Business Administration degree from Lindenwood University.
(Pictured: Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant speaks at the grand opening of the first HOPE Inside in greater St. Louis. Photo courtesy of Jennings School District.)
Read more: 8 Things You Should Know About HOPE Inside’s Arrival in Missouri