The ABA Foundation today announced the signing of a formal agreement with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) to support the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) and its goal of ensuring that America’s veterans have safe and easy access to their monetary benefits. The ABA Foundation will serve as AMBA’s 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsor for managing donations that fund the VBBP and will also encourage banks of all sizes to join this important initiative to improve the financial health and wellbeing of veterans across the country.
AMBA and the Department of Veterans Affairs founded the VBBP in 2019. The program’s primary objectives are to establish and maintain a marketplace of military and veteran-friendly banks and credit unions committed to banking veterans, beneficiaries, survivors, and caregivers. The VBBP also offers VA beneficiaries a free financial or credit counseling session with an Accredited Financial Counselor® or a Certified Credit Counselor; and to provide them trusted and unbiased financial education, resources and information.
In addition to serving as AMBA’s fiscal sponsor for the VBBP, the ABA Foundation will launch a campaign to encourage banks of all sizes to participate in the VBBP and help unbanked veterans find easy, affordable access to the financial products and services they need. Participation in the VBBP is open to both ABA and AMBA members and non-members.
“The ABA Foundation is proud to partner with AMBA in this important initiative to support our nation’s veterans and their families,” said Lindsay Torrico, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “The Veterans Benefits Banking Program has already helped more than 250,000 veterans gain access to the banking system, and we hope to grow that number as part of our longstanding commitment to reduce the number of unbanked and underbanked Americans.”
“The ABA Foundation’s strong support is essential to the success of the Veterans Benefits Banking Program,” said Major General (Ret.) Steven J. Lepper, AMBA president and CEO. “Its willingness to recruit banks and serve as AMBA’s fiscal sponsor will sustain and enhance VBBP’s mission to provide our nation’s underbanked and unbanked veterans access to the safe, reliable and flexible financial products and services banks provide. We appreciate ABA and the ABA Foundation’s steadfast support of our shared vision that veterans’ financial wellbeing is just as important as their physical and mental wellbeing.”
“I’m excited to see this partnership between the ABA Foundation and AMBA make a real difference in the financial lives of the nation’s veterans,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “I know our members across the country will want to join the VBBP and do their part to expand access to banking services for the women and men who served this country.”
VBBP is generously supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Other AMBA partners providing services to veterans through VBBP include the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE), the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN), and LifeCents.
About the American Bankers Association
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $23.7 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2.1 million people, safeguard $18.7 trillion in deposits and extend $12.2 trillion in loans.
About the ABA Foundation
Through its leadership, partnerships, and national programs, ABA’s Community Engagement Foundation (dba ABA Foundation), a 501(c)3, helps bankers provide financial education to individuals at every age, elevate issues around affordable housing and community development, and achieve corporate social responsibility objectives to improve the well-being of their customers and their communities.
About the Association of Military Banks of America
The Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) was founded in 1959. AMBA is a not-for-profit association of banks operating on military installations, banks not located on military installations but serving military customers, and military banking facilities designated by the U.S. Treasury. The association’s membership includes both community banks and large multinational financial institutions, all of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.