By Laura Bunn
Triangle Market President
Improving financial literacy is a strong personal interest of mine. The banking sector is uniquely qualified to champion the topic in the communities in which we live and work. Financial literacy isn’t understanding the complex ins and outs of finance and accounting; it’s about helping people make fiscally responsible decisions that impact their lives both short-term and long-term. Sharing the fundamentals of money management (whether it be starting a savings account, planning for retirement, or launching a business) helps people become more financially confident, which in turn benefits all by building stronger communities.
At Capital Bank, we have partnered with the global financial dignity nonprofit Operation HOPE to open the first of many financial education offices across the state at our Raleigh branch on Falls of Neuse Road. Essentially, the HOPE Inside program at Capital Bank offers lower- to moderate-income individuals and area small businesses (bank customer or not!) their own complimentary personal banker. Certified counselors will offer free financial education workshops and one-on-one advice on topics ranging from living on a budget to ways to pay down debt and from consumer rights to steps to raising credit scores. Ensuring the start of good money habits can help future economic opportunity and better empower individuals and families to weather life’s unforeseen curveballs, face rising costs of living and achieve the ultimate American Dream, homeownership.
Financial literacy can support potential and existing business owners in developing sustainable businesses, which in turn creates job opportunities for Triangle residents. Entrepreneurship is a key driver to our region’s prosperity. It can offer individuals and families the opportunity to move from low-wage jobs to the middle class. I am proud to say Capital Bank invested half a million dollars in the nonprofit Carolina Small Business Development Fund to nurture underserved small businesses in North Carolina.
A commitment to helping neighbors become financially confident is smart business. Economic empowerment serves to build a solid foundation for long-term success, resulting in stronger communities and economies, which ultimately lead to a better quality of life for everyone.