Banks Use Financial Education to Help Communities Thrive

Vista Bank will soon open the doors to the first community bank in the Fair Park region of South
Dallas in over three decades. A $3 million investment in the community, the 11,000 square foot
facility will be anchored by a Financial Literacy Center and provide office space for community

Texas Bank Report
By Chris Hawkes and Amber Summers
April 2024

When it comes to helping communities succeed, banks are contributing much of their time to financial education. Banks offer classes and programs centered around financial literacy to people of all ages and backgrounds within the communities they serve. And while many banks still participate in fundraising efforts, the shift towards hands-on financial education reflects improved rapport within those communities. This emphasis is about improving how residents, customers and potential customers think about managing money, which yields many advantages to the banks. The Department of Banking visited with several community banks to discuss their success in the financial education arena.


Chief Executive Officer John Steinmetz supports the idea of banks doing more for their communities. 

Historically, banks typically donate money or participate in events once or twice a year. While that tradition continues, Steinmetz states “we should be entering underserved communities, volunteering, and educating less informed individuals on sound financial practices.” 

Banks have also viewed financial literacy and community development as two different sectors within the business, however, they are interdependent. Vista Bank’s community development and outreach departments both focus on vital strategic initiatives for the communities they serve, in hopes to set an example for other banks. 

One way Vista Bank, along with its Board of Directors, remains committed is by working with community partners to find the right balance between financial literacy education and providing access to funding for quality loans. 

Vista Bank wants to offer all the support to its customers and community needs. Ideally, the bank would like to make loans to entrepreneurs throughout its communities. Hopefully, the participation in financial literacy training will result in those individuals qualifying for the loans necessary to succeed.

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