About Bank On California

Bank On California

Bank On California - Helping Californians Open Bank and Credit Union Accounts

The Bank On California initiative helps Californians open a bank or credit union account and start saving for the future. California is lauded as the first state in the nation to launch the initiative seeking to draw the "unbanked" into the financial mainstream.

The Department of Business Oversight provides the state leadership of the initiative and recently announced that there are now eight Bank On programs in California. In addition, there are several new cities in the process of planning their programs. Bank on California coalitions are located in Amador, American Canyon, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Napa, Oakland, Orange, Placer Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, Watsonville and Yolo.

Bank On California is a voluntary collaborative initiative that gives unbanked households access to mainstream financial products and services, including no- and low-cost checking and savings accounts with participating banks and credit unions and access to financial education.

Community partners include community-benefit (non-profit) organizations, local, state and federal government, and financial institutions (community banks and credit unions).

Bank On California, launched in December 2008, sought to open 100,000 starter accounts. Over 300,000 starter bank accounts have been opened to date. Bank On California has also made significant progress expanding financial education opportunities and has conducted over 3,000 financial education workshops, while reaching out to several thousand unbanked low- and moderate-income families and individuals throughout the state.

Thank you!

Thank you to all of our community partners!. We can’t express enough gratitude to the Bank On California regional coordinators, donors, trainers, volunteers, and supporters. Bank On California continues to grow and to provided safe and affordable accounts to California’s unbanked and free financial education opportunities.

Original Sponsors:

Bank of America • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); FDIC • McCann Worldgroup • The PEW Charitable Trusts • United Way of the Bay Area • United Way AIRS • The Walter S. Johnson Foundation • Wachovia Bank • Visa Inc.

Local Sponsors:

AT&T • Bank of Sacramento • Boeing • Citibank • East West Bank • Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco • New America Foundation • Silicon Valley Bank • Silicon Valley Community Foundation • Union Bank • Univision • United Way California Capital Region • United Way of Fresno County • United Way of Greater LA • United Way Monterey • United Way of Orange County • United Way Santa Cruz • United Way Salinas • United Way of Silicon Valley • United Way Stanislaus • Watsonville Law Center • Wells Fargo

History of Bank On
Bank On San Francisco

In 2005, officials of the City and County of San Francisco looked into the number of households in the city living without a checking or savings account. The results found about 50,000 unbanked households. Disturbingly, that figure included approximately half of San Francisco’s adult African-Americans and Latinos. In December 2005, a committee comprising the Treasurer’s Office, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, nonprofit organizations, and banks and credit unions developed a new program to help bank the unbanked. This coalition eventually became Bank On San Francisco.


Highlighted Resources


Unbanked: No checking or savings account.

Underbanked: Has a checking and/or savings account, but continues to rely on alternative financial services, like check-cashing services, payday loans, rent-to-own agreements and/or pawn shops.