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January 26 2017

Operation HOPE, Union Bank and El Camino College Partner to Provide Free Financial Literacy Services to Students and Community Residents in Compton, California

ATLANTA – Jan. 26, 2016 – Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Inc., has partnered with Union Bank and El Camino College, to open a HOPE Inside office in Compton, California. HOPE Inside El Camino College Compton Center provides credit and money management workshops and one-on-one credit counseling to students, staff, and community residents, to help them take control of their money and create a more secure financial future. All services are free to the client.

“We are honored to partner with Union Bank and El Camino Compton Center to bring financial dignity services to the community,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE. “Our counseling services help bridge the gap between being unqualified and being bankable, so in many ways the HOPE Inside model operates as the ‘private banker to the less than affluent’-- we work to rehabilitate the credit, financial, and overall wellbeing profile of the HOPE client, and the future bank borrower.”

Union Bank is the financial sponsor of the HOPE Inside location, housed in the El Camino Compton Center Financial Aid Office. The location is staffed by Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach Eric Clay. Through the HOPE 700 Credit Score Communities initiative, the focus on raising client credit scores to 700 is at the foundation of all programming. Clients are counseled on the language of money and work to transform established financial mindsets, and to develop customized action plans.

“Union Bank has been a strong advocate of financial education since 1993 and we are pleased to continue our commitment through the new HOPE Inside office,” added Julius Robinson, Managing Director, Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas at Union Bank. “Financial education is critical, it helps strengthen our communities and helps our society as a whole.”

The HOPE Inside model has allowed private financial institutions to scale, and sustainably package and deliver, financial literacy and empowerment programming. HOPE Inside, which provides clients with the fundamentals to build their own businesses, raise their credit scores, buy homes, or simply make better decisions with the money they have, had its genesis in bank branches, but widespread market adoption continues to bring sponsored offices to government facilities, grocery stores, hospitals, college campuses, and other community locations, including, Whole Foods, Hyatt Hotels, Detroit Medical Center, and Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters.

“This program will benefit students by increasing their financial capabilities through counseling and workshops, reducing student loan default rates, and creating a culture of financial competence,” said Keith Curry, provost of El Camino College Compton Center. “It is also rewarding to establish a partnership with Operation HOPE founder John Hope Bryant, who has dedicated his life’s work to giving back to underserved communities.”

"I've partnered with several campus departments and have delivered credit and money management presentations, along with credit counseling, to 418 individuals this year,” said Eric Clay. “I’ve also been given the opportunity to conduct various lunch-and-learn workshops throughout the school year.”

Today, there are 48 existing HOPE Inside locations across the nation, and commitments for more than 250 new offices within the next 18 months. With strategic banking partners, including, SunTrust Banks, Bank of the West, Fifth Third Bank, Mutual of Omaha, Wells Fargo, BB&T, First Tennessee Bank, Fulton Bank, CIT, MetaBank, First National Bank, Banco Popular, PNC, Level One Bank, Regions Bank, and Cathay Bank, Operation HOPE is delivering financial empowerment to communities that need it most.

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About Operation HOPE

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. 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 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

Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter @operationhope

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States.  We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial and retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers.  We also offer an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal and corporate trust, global custody, transaction banking, capital markets, and other services.  With assets of $116.9 billion, as of September 30, 2016, MUFG Union Bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks.  MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥293.7 trillion (JPY) or $2.9 trillion (USD)¹, as of September 30, 2016. The corporate headquarters (principal executive office) for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, which is the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, is in New York City. The main banking office of MUFG Union Bank is in San Francisco, California. 1 Exchange rate of 1 USD=¥101.12 (JPY) as of September 30, 2016

About El Camino Compton Center

El Camino College Compton Center is the community’s education solution offering a full complement of transfer and degree courses, as well as career and technical education. Students may earn an associate degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year university or train for a career. El Camino College Compton Center is located at 1111 E. Artesia Boulevard, Compton, CA 90221.