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January 01 2010

U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Member, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and Operation HOPE Founder John Bryant Discuss the Promotion of Financial Literacy as a National Issue

Meeting focused on ensuring Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
works with the American consumer in moving out of financial crisis
Washington, D.C. – August 18, 2010 -- U.S. Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka and John Hope Bryant, the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, America’s leading financial literacy empowerment nonprofit, met earlier this month to discuss ways to encourage the development of financial literacy as a mainstream issue.

The Senator from Hawaii expressed his support of Operation HOPE and the Financial Services Roundtable’s Framework Agreement and noted their first year’s successes that benefited millions of Americans.

“John and I share a commitment to educating, protecting and empowering all individuals through financial literacy and economic education. I applaud the efforts of Operation HOPE and the Roundtable, and I look forward to working together with them to provide financial literacy opportunities to individuals that need them most,” said Senator Akaka.
Discussions between Akaka and Bryant focused on strategies to promote financial literacy, the work of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission and the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, the Obama Administration’s task force for encouraging financial awareness and financial literacy provisions included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

“Financial literacy is an issue that affects not only the underserved, but all families struggling through this economic crisis,” said Bryant, who also served as vice-chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. “It’s not just about finding ways to make more money. It’s about finding ways to do more with the money you have.”

Senator Akaka reaffirmed his commitment to working with his fellow Members of Congress to emphasize the importance of financial literacy for all Americans and building on successful existing financial literacy activities. Operation HOPE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Services Roundtable in 2009. The Financial Services Roundtable represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, and investment products and services to the American consumer. In the past year alone, they reported that through the support of 300,000 Financial Roundtable Services member company employees and financial literacy and empowerment nonprofits like Operation HOPE, 9.4 million Americans were helped in the past year.

The Senator and Mr. Bryant plan to continue their encouraging dialogue on how to educate and empower Americans through financial literacy education, making sure the recently enacted financial reform bill works for all Americans and the next steps to making sure that such a crisis never happens again.