Penn Community Bank Recognized for Commitment to Equitable, Inclusive Banking
Penn Community Bank, the largest mutual bank in eastern Pennsylvania, announced that its Access Checking account has once again been certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2023–2024).
The national safe account standards, co-created by consumer advocates, leading national nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and other financial institutions, designate both core and strongly recommended features that ensure low cost, high functionality, and consumer safety.
The Bank On Goal
The goal of Bank On is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services.
The Bank On National Account Standards identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect consumers to accounts that meet their needs.
The greater Philadelphia region has a significant need for affordable banking services.
Approximately 25 percent of households in the region are considered “unbanked” or “underbanked,” meaning they do not have access to mainstream financial services.
Penn Community Bank Response and the Reaction to It
By partnering with Bank On, Penn Community Bank is working to address this need and promote financial inclusion in the region.
“Providing access to affordable banking services is at the heart of our mission, and we are proud to help create a more inclusive and equitable financial system,” said Bernard Tynes, Penn Community Bank’s Chief Marketing & Impact Officer. “Recertification by Bank On is a testament to our commitment to providing high-quality banking services to all members of our community and promoting financial inclusion in the greater Philadelphia region.”
“The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund is delighted to award its national Bank On account certification to Penn Community Bank’s Access Checking account,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
“Access Checking offers eastern Pennsylvania residents who are looking to improve their finances a safe, affordable, and truly useful mainstream banking product to access and manage their money.
“Penn Community Bank‘s offering of this terrific account brings them into the forefront of national banking access efforts, and we thank them.”
Key features of the bank’s Access Checking account include:
- A low monthly fee that can be waived with just $500 in monthly direct deposits
- No overdraft or nonsufficient funds transactions or fees
- A free debit card with Purchase Rewards
- Free online and mobile banking
- Free bill pay and Zelle
- Up to four free money orders per month
Also, as with other checking product options, Access Checking is covered by standard federal deposit insurance. Access Checking accounts can be opened at any of Penn Community Bank’s branches across the region.
Including Access Checking, accounts that meet Bank On National Account Standards are now available at over 46,000 branches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.; financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts already comprise over 56 percent of the national deposit market share.
Meeting Consumers’ Needs
Data collected by the CFE Fund in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis through Bank On’s national reporting platform show that these accounts are meeting consumers’ needs; since the introduction of Bank On account certification standards, millions of consumers have opened Bank On certified accounts, with approximately 80 percent of the accounts opened by consumers new to the financial institutions.
The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting almost 100 local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between governments, financial institutions, and community organizations.
To learn more about Bank On and the National Account Standards visit its website.
This video explains underbanked Americans, how they got that way, and the difficulties they face.
The Bank On certification for Penn Community Bank underscores its progress in creating financial connections for these citizens.
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