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ESL Simple Spending Account Receives National Certification by Banking Advocates as Safe, Affordable Account

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s Bank On National Account Standards Certification of ESL Simple Spending Account indicates that it meets over 25 features for safe and affordable consumer transaction accounts.

Rochester, NY — ESL Federal Credit Union announces that its ESL Simple Spending Account was officially certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2021 - 2022). The national safe account Standards, co-created by consumer advocates, leading national nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and other financial institutions, designate both core and strongly recommended features that ensure low cost, high functionality, and consumer safety.

Key features of the ESL Simple Spending Account include the monthly cost of only $3, no overdraft or nonsufficient fund fees, the ability to pay bills and make purchases, and federal deposit insurance through the National Credit Union Administration. The ESL Simple Spending Account certification of meeting Bank On National Account Standards comes shortly after the financial institution reduced all overdraft fees to $5 in November 2021.

“An affordable, reliable and safe checking account is the cornerstone to living a financially healthy life,” said Caytie Bowser, vice president/director, product management and development, ESL Federal Credit Union. “Through our Purpose to help our community thrive and prosper, it is of the utmost importance to ESL that our members have access to the financial products and services that allow them to meet their financial needs and ultimately achieve their goals. The ESL Simple Spending Account is a certified example of providing such a product to our members.”

“The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund is delighted to award its national Bank On account certification to ESL Federal Credit Union for its ESL Simple Spending Account,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “The ESL Simple Spending Account offers Greater Rochester residents who are looking to improve their finances a safe, affordable, and truly useful mainstream banking product– this is especially important during COVID-19, as consumers need to access and manage their money both affordably and safely. This offering from ESL brings them into the forefront of national banking access efforts, and we thank them.”

The goal of Bank On is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. The Bank On National Account Standards identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect consumers to accounts that meet their needs.

The ESL Simple Spending Account is available at all 23 ESL branches and can also be opened online. Additionally, there are over 160 other Bank On certified accounts available at financial institutions across the country. With this announcement, ESL becomes the first financial institution headquartered in Rochester to achieve this certification.

Data collected by the CFE Fund in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis through Bank On’s national reporting platform shows that these Bank On-certified accounts are meeting consumers’ needs; since their offering, millions of consumers have opened Bank On certified accounts, with approximately 85% of them opened by consumers new to the financial institutions.

The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting 90 local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between governments, financial institutions, and community organizations. To learn more about Bank On and the National Account Standards click here.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With more than 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to more than 384,000 members and 13,300 businesses. Founded in 1920, the company provides personal banking, business banking, mortgage services and wealth management services through its locally based 23-branch network; telephone, mobile and online banking; and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs more than 900 people in the Greater Rochester area and holds more than $9 billion in assets. Since 1996, ESL has paid out 26 consecutive Owners’ Dividends to its members, totaling more than $185 million. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for 11 years, since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester and can be found online at

About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)

The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and counties, and has disbursed over $55 million to local governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

About Bank On

Bank On coalitions are locally-led partnerships between local public officials; city, state, and federal government agencies; financial institutions; and community organizations that work together to help improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families in their communities. The Bank On national initiative builds on a grassroots movement of over 90 coalitions in cities across the country, offering national account standards, capacity grant support, pilot funding, and a learning community. In addition to connecting unbanked individuals to accounts, Bank On programs raise public awareness, target outreach to the unbanked, and expand access to financial education. Visit for more information, or follow the conversation on Twitter @CFEFund #BankOn.

For more information, contact:

Rich Pulvino, APR
Vice President/Director, Corporate Communications