Results tagged as "community development"

  • Listening to Mayors to Enable Progress in Cities

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance January 20, 2016 10:15 AM

    Cities around the world are growing – and growing fast. For the first time in human history, more people live in urban areas than rural ones. In the United States, for example, 81 percent of Americans now live in urban locations, an increase of 12 percent since 2000.

    As hubs of innovation that serve as critical parts of our global economy, cities are magnets for talent, investment and trade from every corner of the world. It is why over 300 languages are spoken in New York City; why 44% of small businesses are owned by immigrants in Los Angeles; and why Chicago O’Hare Airport features direct flights to 210 cities around the world.

    However, as urbanization continues to accelerate, formidable new challenges are emerging. Infrastructure, equitable access to public services like transportation, household financial resiliency, and public safety have all become strained as more and more people make cities their home. Mayors are at the frontline of addressing these complex topics, yet they are rarely called upon to share their collective insights and perspectives. And we believe this is a missed opportunity.

    To bring together perspectives from mayors across the United States, we sponsored the inaugural 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors. The survey is named in honor of Thomas Menino, a visionary urban leader who served as Mayor of Boston for more than two decades, but sadly passed away in October of 2014. Over the past year, we have worked – in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Boston University’s Initiative on Cities – to take the pulse of U.S. mayors on contemporary issues through the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind ever undertaken in the nation.

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  • Citi Banamex Financial Education: Ten Years and Ten Million Beneficiaries

    By Elena García Cano, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Citi Banamex Financial Education August 21, 2015 01:00 PM

    Since 2005, more than ten million Mexicans have benefited from Banamex’s Financial Education program “Saber Cuenta” (Knowing Counts). The first comprehensive bank initiative for economic and financial education in Mexico, Banamex formed the program in response to an urgent need in a population that was underserved. Saber Cuenta’s mission is to assist the public, particularly the lower-income population, in developing skills and mindsets that will empower them to make smart personal financial decisions.

    I am proud to be part of the Saber Cuenta program, which helps those in need in three ways: improving personal and/or family finance, teaching entrepreneurship finance (for micro, small and medium enterprises) and providing institutional financial support for non-governmental organizations.

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  • Teach Children to Save 2015

    By Bill Mills, CEO North America, Will Howle, Head of U.S. Retail Bank, & Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance July 20, 2015 12:00 PM

    It’s never too early to start saving. For those of us fortunate enough to have been taught that lesson at an early age by a family member or a teacher, it can help set the stage for a lifetime of positive financial behaviors.

    And, it is a lesson that has never been more important. According to research from Family Assets Count, a project of the Corporation for Enterprise Development in collaboration with Citi, nearly half (45%) of all households in major urban cities may not have the necessary savings to sustain three months at the poverty level in the event of a disruption to income, such as the loss of a job or a major medical bill occurrence. Many of these families living in “liquid asset poverty” are employed, own homes and have college educations, yet are walking a financial tightrope every day, unable to safeguard against the unexpected.

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  • A Plan to Increase Financial Access with New Technology

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Citi Microfinance October 01, 2014 02:17 PM

    Technology has increased access to education, healthcare, and instant communication. But it has yet to revolutionize access to financial services for low-income communities. Having adequate financial access not only impacts the economic potential of individuals, but also has an effect on the broader economy.
    Without access to appropriate tools and guidance, people face more difficulties when it comes to developing good credit, saving money, and building a secure financial future. Without such building blocks for economic growth, it is more challenging to buy a home, build a business, or send a child to college.

    This trend also allows costly and predatory alternative financial services, which target African Americans and Hispanics in particular, to thrive. That is why we need simple and responsible products that leverage technology to bring more people into the financial sector, and Citi Microfinance and Community Development are taking steps to change that.

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  • Expanding Financing Inclusion to the Underbanked

    By Elaina Jackson, Communications Director, Hope Enterprise Corporation September 18, 2014 05:36 PM

    This week the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) presented Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) with the "Where We Bank Award" in recognition of HOPE's work to expand financial inclusion in the Mid South. The award, sponsored by Citi was presented during CFED's Assets Learning Conference in Washington DC.

    HOPE's service area (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee) is home to the highest rates of unbanked and underbanked households in the country. These conditions are particularly high among households of color. In Mississippi, where 37% of the population is African American, 31% of black households are unbanked compared to only 5% of white households. Research has documented the connection between having a banking relationship and acquiring assets, such as a car or home. However in Mississippi one out of three African American households do not have a checking or savings account - basic building blocks of economic security. These gaps - which are wider in the Mid South than anywhere else - are exacerbated by the fact that the Mid South is home to the highest concentration of persistently poor counties (counties where the poverty rate has exceeded 20% for three decades in a row) in the country.

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  • Citizenship: A New Strategy for Financial Inclusion and Inclusive Economic Growth

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance September 17, 2014 12:20 PM

    At Citi Community Development, we focus on meaningful and practical solutions that enable low-income communities to climb up the economic ladder. Increasingly, immigrants are a major portion of those communities. In fact, at least 40% of America's immigrants live in Citi's retail footprint. Their economic success is directly tied to our financial success.

    Yet, translating America's immigration policy into one that spurs growth, empowerment and progress will take federal reforms--and that will take time. But outside the politicized debate we're so accustomed to hearing, there is an easy action that frustrated local leaders can take to both abet and benefit from almost 9 million immigrants, a majority of whom are low-income: empower eligible legal permanent residents apply for citizenship.

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  • Diverse Services for Diverse Immigrant Communities

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance August 25, 2014 02:58 PM

    At a conference in Washington D.C. last month, when the audience of U.S. federal and city officials, community organizations and business representatives started nodding in unison, I knew I had hit a nerve: Immigrants are not a homogeneous group, and it is critical that we develop multiple pathways to citizenship, an important asset for economic success in America.

    From highly skilled workers to students, asylum seekers to entrepreneurs, different groups require different financial training, education and employment support. This approach will better help the 8.8 million legal permanent residents who have documents, pay taxes and work lawfully, and yet aren't citizens because of varied barriers.

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  • Safeguarding Financial Identity for Senior Citizens

    By Bill Mills CEO, North America August 22, 2014 08:39 AM

    Today is National Senior Citizens Day - a day for all of us to celebrate, appreciate and give back to the elders in our communities. It's also a time to reflect on the responsibilities we have as individuals, families and institutions to support and protect older adults, a rapidly-growing segment of the U.S. population.

    One of the most common forms of elder abuse is financial exploitation, which until recently, was also one of the least understood. According to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, nearly one in twenty older adults reported being the victim of a financial scam or theft. The incidents comprise a broad range of crimes - from the theft of cash or possessions, to the transfer of property or homeownership rights, to identity theft and investment fraud. These crimes can be perpetrated by strangers, or even at the hands of trusted caretakers, friends, business associates and family members.

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  • Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera Offers Financial Inclusion to NYC's Mexican Immigrant Community

    By Eileen Auld, Citi Community Development Regional Director for the New York Tri-State area July 08, 2014 04:50 PM

    New York City's rapidly-growing Mexican population has gained a unique resource as it strives for financial stability and inclusion in the American economy. Earlier this year I joined the Consul General of Mexico in New York and a host of other dignitaries at the opening of a new one-stop financial services center known as a Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera, or Financial Counseling Window.

    The new 'Ventanilla' offers New York's Mexican community the opportunity to access free financial services through a trusted partner in a safe and convenient place. Created through collaboration between the Mexican Consulate, Citi Community Development and the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, the center has its own space at the consulate, 27 E. 39th St.

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  • A Time to Listen and Learn: 82nd Annual Meeting of U.S. Conference of Mayors

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance June 20, 2014 09:08 AM

    Colleagues from across seven of Citi's businesses and corporate functions will be joining over 250 mayors at the 82nd U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting which begins today in Dallas, TX. The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the country's largest non-partisan organization of large cities and though Citi's relationship with the USCM has been relatively short, it has already been highly successful.

    Since 2012, Citi Community Development has sat on USCM's Business Council and in 2013, Citi Community Development and the City and County of San Francisco won USCM's prestigious Excellence in Public Private Partnership Award for Kindergarten to College - the nation's first universal child savings program.

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