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Too many Californians conduct their financial lives outside the financial mainstream:

  • Nationally, as many as 28 million people are unbanked
  • One in five Californians does not have a checking account
  • Nearly half of Californians do not have a savings account
  • The average unbanked worker will throw away more than $40,000 over a lifetime to cash checks and pay bills


Introducing Bank On California
Launched statewide on December 21th by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, this program aims to help the millions of California working families who don't have bank accounts. Through this partnership of banks, community organizations and local government, Bank of California "will help unbanked California open starter accounts and enter the financial mainstream, where they can begin saving, build a credit history, gain access to lower-cost sources of credit, and invest for their future."


Why You Need An Account
By opening a bank account, you can take an important step toward financial security. With a free or low-cost account, you can start to save for the future and establish a credit history that will help you enter the financial mainstream and achieve your dreams.

Without a bank account, the average person will spend 5% of their income at check cashers each year. This means that by having a bank account, you could save around $800 a year.


How To Open An Account
Finding a bank or credit union is the first step. The staffs of participating banks and credit unions are trained to answer questions and walk you through each step of the process. To set up a free or low-cost account, you need a valid ID. Many forms of ID are accepted, including passports, California IDs, Mexican Matricula cards, and more.


Participating Cities & Banks
To better serve their communities, the cities listed have already joined the initiative. The number of participating cities will continue to grow as the partnership extends throughout all of California.

These banks and credit unions have partnered with us to help reach even more unbanked Californians.