The Crusader Newspaper Group

Economic Inclusion Summit helps Indiana residents

The Northern Indiana Bank On Alliance hosted a summit featuring experts who discussed the financial landscape affecting Northern Indiana residents. Attendees learned about financial challenges faced by residents, specifically those who are underbanked and unbanked citizens in the five-county area of Elkhart, Lake, LaPorte, Porter, and St. Joseph Counties. Additionally, they were given information on how to become involved in addressing challenges and improving the lives of local residents by supporting financial stability initiatives through the NIBOA counties.

“NIBOA provides a vital service to underbanked and non-banked residents of northern Indiana,” said Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, who was a proponent of bringing the effort to our state. “I applaud their efforts to bring banking services and the security that those services afford to all Hoosiers in every walk of life.”

The summit brought speakers from United Ways of Lake and Porter Counties, Indiana University Northwest, the City of Gary, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE), Consumer Credit Counseling of Northwest Indiana and more to Indiana University Northwest.

Event speaker, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson stated, “It is an honor to partner with the Northwest Indiana Bank On Alliance once again.  They provide so much information and support to our community as citizens work toward financial literacy and stability. All citizens at all income levels can benefit from these financial tips.”

NIBOA’s mission is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services through a variety of educational opportunities. NIBOA products and services are available to all individuals looking to improve their financial footprint through education. Per the CFED Asset & Opportunities Network there are more than 458,000 households in the 5-county region. Of that, more than 34,700 are unbanked and 85,000 are underbanked. “Unbanked” are individuals who have never utilized banking services, such as teenagers or first-time employees, and those who have had past banking troubles. “Underbanked” individuals are those who minimally utilize banking services and rely on alternative financial services like check cashing.

For more information about free financial education opportunities and no- to low-cost banking services, visit

The Northern Indiana Bank On Alliance helps residents access financial education workshops and essential banking services. The Alliance is a collaboration of 32 financial institutions and community partners across five counties – Elkhart, Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph. The Alliance is powered by the United Way and supported by 1st Source Bank, Centier Bank, J.P.Morgan Chase and Co., Purdue Extension and South Shore Line. For more information, visit

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