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Increasing access to the financial mainstream
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Increasing access to the financial mainstream


San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros and José Quinonez, Executive Director of the Mission Asset Fund, discuss innovative strategies to provide financial services to underserved communities and the …

San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros and José Quinonez, Executive Director of the Mission Asset Fund, discuss innovative strategies to provide financial services to underserved communities and the impact these programs have on local and national policy. Under the leadership of Treasurer José Cisneros, San Francisco has emerged as a leader in the financial empowerment field through groundbreaking initiatives such as Bank on San Francisco and Payday Plus SF, which work with financial institutions to create better products and services for those excluded from the financial mainstream. At the same time, the Mission Asset Fund is taking informal practices such as the peer lending circles popular in immigrant communities, and creating financial products that help build credit and formalize participation in the mainstream economy. Both approaches are now seen as national models for reducing financial exclusion. In this session, panelists discuss effective strategies for increasing access to the financial mainstream and the implications these approaches have for local and national policy.

Published in Economy & Finance , Business
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  • Start the workshop at 3:45 Jose brings the room to order Welcome and Introductions - Introduce workshop topic and presenters - Ask participants to introduce themselves, where they are from and what “community assets” means to them - Provide outline of discussion
  • About MAF -Mission
  • How many of you know the Mission District? I’m sure that in your 4 day stay in San Francisco, some of you must have visited the Mission in search of great food. These numbers are just to give you a sense of the Mission….but, frankly, they don’t capture the essence, the energy of the neighborhood. How about some pictures?


  • 1. Cestas Populares – Peer Lending Circles
  • 2. About MAF
    • The Mission Asset Fund is the first neighborhood-based, community-led, asset-building organization in the country, that was established when Levi Strauss & Co. sold their factory on Valencia St. and made a commitment to invest $1 million in the Mission district for community development project.
    • Our mission is to expand access to financial services, savings and investment opportunities for residents of the Mission District to build a more secure economic future for themselves, their families and their community
  • 3. The Mission District
    • The Mission is a vibrant working-class community with a long history as a gateway for new immigrants; rich in social networks, active civic engagement, and strong nonprofit leadership.
    • The 1.5 square mile neighborhood is densely populated with over 70,000 residents, including 50 percent Latino and 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander households.
    • Nearly one-half of Mission residents are Spanish speakers and more than one-in-three speak only Spanish.
    • Forty-four percent of Mission households have no credit history
  • 4. Dynamic Intersection
    • Micro Finance
      • Bridge financial products
      • Peer loans
    • Community Development
      • Neighborhood focused
      • Membership based
    • Asset Building
      • Match savings accounts
      • Financial capability
    • Immigrant Rights
      • Financial integration
      • Culturally relevant
  • 5. Creative Strategies
    • Leveraging cultural assets to help low-income immigrant communities build wealth
    • Using technology to deliver cost-effective programs and services
    • Developing program models that can be easily replicated in other communities
  • 6.  
  • 7. Life Cycle of Cesta Loans
  • 8. Summary Stats
    • 186 participants
    • 218 loans
    • $1,444 per loan
    • $314,900 total loan volume
    • 73% are women
    • 25% save
    • 14% pay high cost debt
    • 27 members had no credit scores
  • 9. Outcomes
    • Zero default rate
    • Average credit scores increase by 49 points
    • Decrease debt by $1,209
    • Increase of 4 trade lines
  • 10. Personal Impact: Jessica Ortega ASSETS CREDIT
  • 11. Building on Success
  • 12. Key Questions:
    • Can credit reports provide good and objective metrics for evaluating financial progress?
    • If peer lending circles are successful in the Mission, can they work in other communities?
    • How can Cestas reach scale?
  • 13. Jose Quinonez, Executive Director [email_address] Mission Asset Fund | Fondo Popular de la Misión 2301 Mission St., Suite 303 San Francisco, CA 94110 Contact Information