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News Release 2010-50 | April 27, 2010

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Promotes Financial Literacy at Capitol Hill Event

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency participated in the Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill event today to educate and support consumers of financial services. The event was held in conjunction with National Financial Literacy Month.

"Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill is a great opportunity for the OCC to provide our consumer information to congressional staff, federal agencies, banks, and the general public," said Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan. "Financial knowledge is the first step toward financial stability. Basic financial literacy helps consumers save, better protect and manage their money, and plan for long term goals."

The OCC encourages national banks to collaborate with community organizations on financial literacy and education initiatives. These partnerships enable banks to extend the reach of their products and services to low- and moderate income customers and to underbanked markets. At the same time, it may allow banks to earn positive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act.

During the event, OCC staff provided a number of the agency's publications on financial literacy, including a report on school-based bank savings programs, which helps students learn about the importance of saving and other money management skills, and the OCC's Community Developments newsletter. The newsletter describes financial literacy programs across the country that are operated by banks and their community partners. The OCC also distributed two recent Consumer Advisories—"Consumer Alternatives for Receiving Income Tax Refunds," and "Reverse Mortgages: Are They Right for You?" as well as its most recent Financial Literacy Update. This bimonthly publication reports on upcoming financial literacy events, new programs, and related resource materials.

Visitors to the event were able to see live demonstrations of the OCC's website, which provides information to national bank customers and access to the OCC Customer Assistance Specialists. The Website provides answers to over 250 common questions on financial topics such as credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, consumer loans, insurance, identity theft, and safe deposit boxes. The site also includes links and references to financial information and an online consumer complaint form.

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Kevin M. Mukri
(202) 874-5770