Press Release: City Treasurer Neely Joins With Immigrant Advocates “Get That Money Out Of Your Mattress And Into A Bank”

Newly arrived immigrants are among the most vulnerable populations in the city. They often mistrust banks, and lack the language skills and required documentation to open accounts. Keeping cash leaves them open to theft, and doesn’t earn them interest.

That’s why City Treasurer Stephanie Neely is joining with a coalition of immigrant advocates to offer financial literacy classes to a variety of newly arrived groups.

“What immigrant families don’t know about banking can cost them big bucks,” says Neely. “They pay a disproportionately high portion of their earnings in check cashing and wire transfer fees.”

The new pilot program is called FLIP and works with 3 local banks who will provide free checking and incentives to participate.

What: Unveil Financial Literacy Classes for Immigrants
Who: Treasurer Neely, Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELII)
When: 10 am Friday Dec. 21, 2012
Where: City Hall Room 201 A
Why: Helping immigrant families hang onto hard earned dollars

Six pilot sites will target four ethnic neighborhoods, teaching basics of banking, budgeting and money management. Neely and CAAAELII hope that financial literacy will boost entrepreneurship and become a first step in building real wealth.