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January 23 2014

Regions Bank to offer HOPE starting with Five Points South location

on January 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM 


Operation HOPE founder and CEO John Hope Bryant, center, is joined by Protective Life CEO Johnny Johns, left, and Regions Financial CEO Grayson Hall, right, to announce the Alabama launch of Hope Inside. (Michael Tomberlin/

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – A first-of-its-kind for Alabama financial education and counseling program is coming to Regions Bank, starting with the Five Points South and Woodlawn branches.

HOPE Inside from Operation HOPE will offer free adult financial education, individual financial counseling guidance and financial disaster recovery workshops to residents in the Birmingham area. The programs are designed for those seeking to build personal wealth or protect assets from disasters.

The HOPE Inside offices will feature a dedicated certified counselor who will provide and coordinate credit, money management and homeownership counseling services. Services are provided free of charge and are available to the general public. Anyone needing the assistance, even non-Regions customers, can receive it.

John Hope Bryant, the chief executive and founder of Operation HOPE, today joined Regions Financial Corp. CEO Grayson Hall and Protective Life Corp. CEO Johnny Johns at the Regions Financial corporate headquarters to announce the state launch of HOPE Inside.

Bryant said his mother is from Alabama and he sees his own efforts as a continuation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work striving for equality. That equality, he said, is a financial equality and is not centered on race.

“If we can fix it in Birmingham, then Detroit has hope, the Southside of Chicago has hope,” he said.

No matter your race or color, Bryant said, “You want to see some more green.”

Bryant said the top reason for divorces, college drop-outs, and other social ills is a lack of money undermined by a lack of financial education.

“I think Ph.D.’s are good but Ph.Do’s are even better,” Bryant said. “If you can’t go get a job, create a job.”

Regions Bank and Protective Life are supporting HOPE Inside as it launches in Birmingham.

“We are pleased that Regions Bank and Protective Life Corporation show such dedication to their community. Their commitment will help ensure that the residents of Birmingham will have an opportunity to receive Operation HOPE’s qualified financial empowerment service,” Bryant said in a release. “For more than 20 years, we have been advocating the importance of financial literacy as a tool to combat economic inequality. Through Operation HOPE Inside we are making a measurable impact in communities across the country, like Birmingham.”

Hall said the goal is to help everyone become more financially educated and play a greater role in the local economy.

“This is about helping people succeed financially to make our community stronger,” he said. “Financial education gives people the knowledge and information they need to make decisions that will benefit themselves and their families. Regions is honored to partner with Operation HOPE and Protective Life to provide this service that will help people set and achieve their financial goals.”

The aim is not to have generic financial education programs, but to offer customized, one-on-one financial education to more people from throughout the area.

"Operation HOPE is a global leader in helping individuals and families build financial capacity and achieve financial dignity through their strong financial literacy programs,” Johns said. “We are pleased to partner with Regions to bring the HOPE Inside program to Alabama, and we are excited about the impact this program will have in our community.”

HOPE Inside locations literally exist “inside” financial institutions, retail stores, supermarkets, local municipalities or community-based partners, cutting out much of the expensive overhead costs of running a separate center. Operation HOPE’s strategy seeks to serve more people by bringing financial empowerment to locations with significant foot-traffic.

“This joint partnership is just another path to financial success for our citizens, which will help forge the way for better opportunities financially for our citizens,” Birmingham Mayor William Bell said in a release. “We are proud that Birmingham is at the center of such a beneficial program to the community.”

HOPE Inside is launching in Alabama, but Operation HOPE has had a presence in Birmingham since 2011 through its disaster financial recovery services division, HOPE Coalition America (HCA). In support of 2011 tornado recovery efforts, HCA provided on-the-ground assistance to individuals and small business owners, eventually opening an office in Birmingham to continue these services.

Just as HOPE Inside adds another dimension to what Operation HOPE offers in Birmingham, the organization aims to grow to include targeted adult financial literacy workshops and services, credit and money management, homeownership, foreclosure prevention and small business seminars, as well as HCA disaster recovery services to HOPE clients.

It also has a number of initiatives aimed at entrepreneurship and the financial education of children.

Read more about Operation Hope’s programs.

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