#TrustPlusatWork: Amalgamated Bank
Amalgamated Bank First Vice President Maura Keaney discusses bringing free personal finance coaching to 40,000 customers nationwide.
What’s this about TrustPlus and Amalgamated Bank bringing personal finance coaching to 40,000 customers nationwide?
Amalgamated Bank believes that quality affordable financial services are a right — in the same way that voting is a right and healthcare is a right. We are excited to partner with TrustPlus to provide direct one-on-one financial counseling to Amalgamated Bank clients and community members. TrustPlus is traditionally a program where employers offer this benefit to their employees. What we’re doing at Amalgamated is much larger scale. We’re offering TrustPlus to our 40,000 customers across the entire country.
Amalgamated Bank is making TrustPlus available for free to all Bronx residents?
We’re also offering TrustPlus to customers in the Bronx in particular, and to families in the Bronx who aren’t customers of Amalgamated Bank. They might be customers of another bank and not get that kind of direct support, or they may be unbanked entirely because frankly many communities in the Bronx are underserved, underbanked or unbanked. Being able to be financially healthy, to plan for the future, requires these kinds of resources. Amalgamated is working in collaboration with TrustPlus, and with leaders on the ground, in communities, in the Bronx to offer financial literacy and services across a whole wide range of individuals.
Why work with TrustPlus?
Milly [Milagros DuBouchet, lead business development manager] actually grew up in the community that we’ve been working in, and she knows this neighborhood well.
Maybe that was just luck or serendipity, but it seemed like a good sign to be working with somebody who understands both this community and their unique needs, but also understands in general about communities with immigrant hard-working families who are thinking about how to get ahead. We’re working with local community organizations, elected officials, community centers, the community board, block associations, tenant associations, to get the word out about this great program, and to make sure folks understand that if they want access to direct financial counseling, it’s just a phone call or a text away, it’s free and it’s available for their lifetime.
How Has Covid Impacted Your Clients?
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic that started sweeping across the country in March, many of our clients have seen negative healthcare impacts and real economic impacts. Having an organization like TrustPlus that can support them at this time in helping them think about financial planning is incredibly important. That said, financial planning is a key to financial health and wellness anytime. Many of our clients are working families who need support with financial planning year-round, who are looking to get by and help their families do a little bit better. They want help in thinking about how to save for college, or if they’ll be able to retire someday, how to set up the right savings programs for retirement, what it might look like to retire their debt and how to plan to do that, all while not having much excess income. Having an organization like TrustPlus who can help them plan in a direct, one-on-one way, using a method that works for that individual, whether it’s through texts, through phone, through Zoom, is key to helping working families, middle-class folks get ahead.
Maura spoke with TrustPlus on November 6, 2020. The conversation was edited for length, clarity.