Families in poverty-fighting program get free banking

THE BRONX - Bronx and city families enrolled in a program that pays them to break the cycle of poverty will also get fee-free bank accounts, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday.

Bloomberg's Opportunity NYC program, the first of its kind in the nation, started September 1. The initiative rewards at-risk city families with money for meeting expectations such as seeking preventative medical care and getting good grades.

The mayor announced Wednesday that participants also have access to free banking at eight financial institutions. Bloomberg said having a bank account will encourage Opportunity NYC families to save money. Families that open an account will receive $50 under the program.

The institutions include Amalgamated Bank, Bethex Federal Credit Union, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union, M&T Bank, North Fork Bank and Union Settlement Federal Credit Union.

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