AURORA, Colo. and SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West announced today that it is opening Colorado's first HOPE Inside Center in collaboration with national nonprofit Operation HOPE to support the economic well-being of the greater Denver community. The Center will house a certified financial counselor who provides financial education training in the areas of first-time homeownership, small business development and personal money management. All services are free of charge and available to the general public. The new HOPE Inside Center, housed within the Bank of the West branch at 10401 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, Colorado, opens on May 2, 2016.
"Bank of the West is especially proud to have been the first bank ever to offer a HOPE Inside Center in one of our branches. Today, more than 10 years later, the opening of Colorado's first HOPE Inside Center continues our commitment in partnership with Operation Hope to provide financial education to enrich the lives of individuals, families and business owners and promote stronger communities," said Michael Shepherd, chairman and CEO of Bank of the West and member of Operation HOPE's Global Board since 2010. Shepherd is also a member of the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion.
The HOPE Inside Center in Aurora is the bank's third HOPE location, joining a Bank of the West HOPE Inside Center in Pico Rivera, California that opened in 2014 and the nation's first HOPE Inside Center that the bank opened within its Oakland, California branch in 2003. Thousands of HOPE Inside participants have benefitted from this innovative model of housing a financial education nonprofit within the bank's branches including,
- 20,000 individuals reached with financial education classes focused on personal money management.
- 10,000 individuals and entrepreneurs who have received coaching on credit, pathways to homeownership, and small business planning.
- Participants in the 700 Credit Score Communities Program who are being mentored to raise their credit score 120 points in 24 months. The 700 Credit Score initiative began in 2015.
"We are grateful to Bank of the West for their support as a strategic partner in opening another installation of HOPE Inside," said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and CEO John Hope Bryant. "The sustainable model now known as HOPE Inside continues to demonstrate great success around the nation, and we look forward to impacting communities in the Denver area by equipping people with the financial tools and training required to realize their aspirations and ensure their financial well-being."
Beyond its collaboration with Operation HOPE, Bank of the West has a long tradition of supporting Colorado communities through community development and philanthropy. Over the past three years in Colorado, the bank has provided 3,000 loans to small business owners, awarded nearly 250 grants to nonprofit organizations, and donated $1.2 million in corporate philanthropy.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
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—powering the broadest financial inclusion network in the country. 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 Operation 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 second 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
About Bank of the West
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $75.7 billion in assets as of December 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees. Follow us on Twitter: @BankoftheWest
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SOURCE Bank of the West