As Prepared for Delivery on December 2, 2021
Hello, everyone, and thank you for allowing me to join you as we mark 20 years of America Saves and its incredible work.
America Saves has helped Americans increase their savings, build wealth, and pay down debt through financial education and counseling. These efforts have significantly contributed to improving the financial security of millions of families across the country. That legacy is something that everyone who has supported America Saves over the years can — and should— be proud of.
Yet, the work of America Saves is more vital than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic disruptions have shown more clearly the financial challenges facing people of color and other underserved communities. For that reason, it is essential that we support minority depository institutions, enforce fair lending laws, advance initiatives to close the wealth gap, promote financial literacy and education, and expand access to safe, fair, and affordable financial products and services.
Such an enormous undertaking will require continued collaboration across federal, state, and local levels and between non-profits, government agencies, financial institutions, parents, educators, community organizations, and consumer advocates.
For more than 20 years, America Saves has shown what these types of partnerships can achieve. If we are to address centuries of discrimination and close the wealth gap, we must continue these efforts. Again, the NCUA is proud of our work with America Saves and its partners to promote financial education and literacy and consumer financial protection within the credit union system and more broadly. And, we look forward to continuing to partner with America Saves in the many years ahead.
Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary. I wish you all continued success.