Summary of Grant Awards

The Treasury Department announced its selections for First Accounts grants on May 1, 2002. The 15 awards, totaling $8,357,234, are intended to help grantees assist "unbanked" low- and moderate-income individuals in opening accounts at insured depository institutions.  The grantees are attempting to target over 35,000 individuals in this effort.

The funds for First Accounts grants result from appropriations in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001 and the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001. The purpose of the appropriations is to develop and implement programs to expand access to financial services for low- and moderate-income individuals. Treasury published a notice of funding availability on December 27, 2001, inviting applications for projects that would move a maximum number of "unbanked" low- and moderate-income individuals to a "banked" status with an insured depository institution. The deadline for application submissions was March 20, 2002. In just over one month, a team of reviewers scored the 231 applications on eight criteria: reasonableness of approach; likelihood of success; self-sustainability; model qualities; timeliness; performance goal setting; experience of participating entities; and management capability.

The First Accounts grant awards are going to nonprofit organizations, insured depository institutions, insured credit unions, a community development financial institution, a faith-based organization, a local government, and a credit union foundation. The awardees will carry out projects that provide financial literacy training, connect individuals to insured accounts, develop low- or no-cost products and services, and increase access to financial services through installation of automated teller machines. The projects are focused on a wide variety of unbanked people, e.g., youth, new entrants to the workforce, recent immigrants, residents of low-income communities, residents in rural areas, native Americans living on reservations, people living in public housing, families using child care facilities.

Grant recipients will be targeting unbanked people in 25 states: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The paramount goal of First Accounts is to move a maximum number of unbanked low- and moderate-income individuals to a banked status with an insured depository institution through the development of financial products and services that can serve as replicable models in other communities without the need for ongoing public subsidies.

Please note the First Accounts program is no longer accepting grant applications.