Today Horizon Bank announced that its Fresh Start Checking was officially certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2021 – 2022). 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. Key features of Fresh Start Checking include a monthly cost of only $5, no minimum balance
requirement, unlimited check writing, the ability to pay bills and make purchases, and federal deposit insurance. Fresh Start Checking is available in every one of Horizon’s branches across in Indiana and Michigan.
“We knew it was imperative to join the Bank On movement and provide our customers the opportunities and conveniences that come from having a bank account,” said Lewis Scott, Vice President, Senior Community Development Officer. “By offering Fresh Start Checking, we now can open doors of opportunity to new and returning customers that are unbanked or underbanked, which demonstrates Horizon’s steadfast commitment to financial inclusion,” stated Scott.
“The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund is delighted to award its national Bank On account certification to Horizon‘s Fresh Start Checking,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Fresh Start Checking offers customers who are looking to improve their finances a safe, affordable, and truly useful mainstream banking product– this is especially important during COVID-19, as consumers need to access and manage their money both affordably and safely. Horizon‘s offering of this terrific account brings them into the forefront of national banking access efforts, and we thank them.”
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.
Horizon’s Fresh Start Checking is available at all branches With the addition of the Fresh Start Checking, accounts that meet Bank On National Account Standards are now available at over 28,000 branches in all 50 states and Washington, DC; financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts already comprise over 45% of the national deposit market share. In addition to Horizon’s Fresh Start Checking, more than 80 other financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts are available across the country. Data collected by the CFE Fund in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis through Bank On’s national reporting platform shows that these accounts are meeting consumers’ needs; since their offering, millions of consumers have opened Bank On certified accounts, with approximately three quarters of them opened by consumers new to the financial institutions.
The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting almost 80 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
follow the conversation on Twitter @CFEfund #BankOn.