Subject: Economic Development, Government
Presented in: 2010
San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros and José Quinonez, Executive Director of the Mission Asset Fund, discuss innovative strategies to provide financial services to underserved communities and the impact these programs have on local and national policy. Under the leadership of Treasurer José Cisneros, San Francisco has emerged as a leader in the financial empowerment field through groundbreaking initiatives such as Bank on San Francisco and Payday Plus SF, which work with financial institutions to create better products and services for those excluded from the financial mainstream. At the same time, the Mission Asset Fund is taking informal practices such as the peer lending circles popular in immigrant communities, and creating financial products that help build credit and formalize participation in the mainstream economy. Both approaches are now seen as national models for reducing financial exclusion. In this session, panelists discuss effective strategies for increasing access to the financial mainstream and the implications these approaches have for local and national policy.