PADUCAH, Ky. – Regions Bank and Operation HOPE on Tuesday announced the opening of a HOPE Inside financial empowerment center that will provide free financial education as well as credit and money management counseling to individuals, families and business owners in Paducah and surrounding areas.
“Financial education is a crucial part of helping a community prosper, and as this program empowers people to take charge of their finances, improve their credit scores and reach their financial goals, we can have a tremendous impact on the entire area,” said Amy Crafford, branch manager for Regions Bank in Paducah. “We have seen the success of Operation HOPE in cities across the country, and we are honored to bring this program to Paducah. The result of our partnership is free, focused, one-on-one financial empowerment for anyone who wants it.”
Local HOPE Inside counseling will primarily be based at Regions’ branch at 4111 Clarks River Road in Paducah. However, Tiffini Clemons, a certified financial wellbeing coach from Operation HOPE, will also deliver financial education at other Paducah-area Regions locations based on community needs.
“We are here to welcome anyone who is interested in making financial progress,” Clemons said. “HOPE Inside helps people learn how to make sound financial decisions and create a personalized roadmap toward achieving their dreams. Further, this program is here to help prospective business owners turn their ideas for a new company into reality. And we’re here to help existing business owners navigate the financial challenges a small company might face.”
Through the partnership between Regions and Operation HOPE, Regions is providing workspace facilities and operational support to enable Clemons to meet with financial education clients. Passionate about empowering and educating people financially, Clemons brings over 14 years of experience in the financial services industry to her role.
Clemons’ areas of focus include helping people improve their credit scores, understand and use credit wisely, strengthen their overall financial management skills and become better prepared to achieve homeownership, avoid foreclosure or reach other financial goals. For small-business owners, HOPE Inside offers entrepreneurial training covering issues ranging from accounting and financial management to marketing, business plan development and more.
Services are available to people regardless of whether they are Regions customers. The program is also available to people who have no bank account at all.
“Our vision is to create a stronger, more inclusive economy through financial empowerment – and financial dignity,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant. “Imagine the difference our programs are making in people’s lives as they improve their credit scores by 100 points or more. Think about the impact on families and communities as more people and more local businesses succeed. And consider the new investments and jobs that come to communities where people are financially secure. We are proud to build on our long-term partnership with Regions, and we look forward to having a positive, meaningful impact on people throughout Western Kentucky and beyond.”
“We opened Regions’ first Midwest HOPE Inside office in St. Louis in 2015, and since then, we have seen lives changed,” added Mike Hart, Midwest Area President of Regions Bank. “I am confident the benefits we have seen in Missouri and elsewhere will also be seen in Western Kentucky as local families and business owners are given the insights, advice and guidance they need to grow and prosper financially.”
People interested in HOPE counseling in Paducah and surrounding areas can contact Tiffini Clemons at 270-441-1308 or at [email protected].
Nationwide, HOPE Inside offices are literally “inside” financial institutions, retail stores, supermarkets and other community locations, allowing Operation HOPE to reach more people while cutting out the expensive overhead costs of running a financial education center.
Regions began partnering with HOPE in 2014 upon the establishment of a counseling center in the company’s headquarters city of Birmingham, Ala. The success of that center led to an expanded partnership that, in the coming years, will lead to a total of 100 HOPE Inside offices in Regions locations across the Southeast, Midwest and Texas.
The HOPE Inside model received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine. Nationwide, there are now over 100 existing locations and commitments for more than 600 new offices within the next 36 months. According to Operation HOPE, each office holds consumer credit counseling certification, CFPB, FDIC, U.S. SBA, EITC, HUD, and FEMA applications and partnerships, and through HOPE Inside, Operation HOPE is the only organization certified by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to operate within a bank.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $123 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, mortgage, and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,500 banking offices and 1,900 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
About Operation HOPE
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. Through its core programs, the nonprofit has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.6 million individuals worldwide, and $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised – turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers. Project 5117 is HOPE’s multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth, and stabilize the American dream by boosting credit scores. Operation HOPE recently received its third consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator—further establishing it as a best-in-class organization. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter: @OperationHOPE.