We're Invested in Our Communities

We believe in supporting our communities to empower people to build, grow, and take ownership of their financial futures.

Schwab volunteer painting outside a building

Empowering communities

Empowering communities

When communities are financially strong, our whole society is stronger. But underserved communities have historically lacked access to conventional financial products and services, affordable credit, and investment capital. We partner with local organizations embedded in the neighborhoods they serve because they know how to best address community needs.

Charles Schwab Banking and Trust Services’ Community Development Group oversees our Community Reinvestment Act program. The program serves the credit needs of the communities in which we operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations. It offers loans, investments, grants, and services that support affordable housing, small business and sustainable job creation, and financial education.

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Charles Schwab Bank

Since its inception in 2004, Charles Schwab Bank has invested, lent, and granted over $2 billion to underserved communities, including:

Charles Schwab Bank

  • icon-housing

    $1.5 billion

    to affordable housing

  • icon-house

    $76.5 million

    to small business and sustainable job creation

  • icon-apple

    $5.7 million

    to financial education and other causes

  • icon-for sale sign

    $443 million

    to mortgages for low-and moderate-income households

Fueling local small businesses

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Fueling local small businesses

Independent and small businesses are a vital part of local economies, but they need financial resources to succeed. For these companies, gaining access to capital and credit can be especially challenging.

We're proud to partner with, invest in, and lend to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) throughout the West that are pioneering new ways forward in small-business lending through microfinancing and innovative loans.

 

Meet the small-business owners supported by Opportunity Fund

See the impact: Opportunity Fund

Our work with Opportunity Fund helps support small businesses and create a tangible impact for local communities.

Opens in popup+ Transcript

Upbeat music plays. Bud, an older gentleman with a mustache, wearing a collared shirt and blazer, speaks.

Bud Colligan: Whether you're starting a flower shop or opening a coffee shop…

Evelyn, a young professional woman with long, dark hair and a nose piercing, speaks.

Evelyn Huang: Childcare businesses, janitorial businesses…

Eric sits on a chair in the middle of his sunny living room, which is filled with eclectic items, including a patterned rug and a brightly painted desk and chair, and a bookcase full of books.

Eric Weaver: You can have an idea. You can have a dream.

Bud: Restaurants, and beauty salons, and trucking services, and…

Evelyn: Graphic artists and freelance…

Bud: Tax services, and food trucks, and…

Evelyn sits on a chair in the middle of her bright, modern living room, the fireplace and a sofa and TV behind her.

Evelyn: People who come from a different culture, and know how to make that food really well.

Eric: And if you just get a few people to partner with you, you can make it happen.

Bud: People have dreams, and maybe they haven't been to Stanford business school, but they still have dreams about being able to do something, providing a service, doing something that they really love.

Rosa selects a bunch of flowers wrapped in plastic in a warehouse, hands it to a man, and says, “Gracias.”

Rosa Funes [off-screen]: I stay 24 hours working with the flowers.

Rosa sits in her office, which is filled with flower shop supplies.

Rosa [onscreen]: I never got tired. Never.

Close-up of Rosa’s bouquets, including bright-yellow daisies, white and red roses, and a pink orchid.

Rosa [off-screen]: I love flowers because I grew up where there were a lot of flowers in my country, in my home, in my grandma's home. When it’s raining, all the gardenias smell everywhere, the jasmine, all the kind of flowers.

Rosa assists a customer in her store.

Customer: I need a small bouquet.

Rosa: Okay.

Customer: I like different things.

Rosa wraps a bouquet of white hydrangeas in light-green tissue paper.

Eric [off-screen]: Rosa was one of the first people we made a loan to, and at that time we had one other employee who was a loan officer but who didn't speak Spanish, so I was the loan officer on that.

Rosa: Somebody sent to me Eric to my home. I don't know how. He knocked the door one day.

Eric: And she asked us for a $500 loan, which was smaller than we'd ever considered,

Rosa bends over the plastic vases on the floor full of flowers and pulls out some pink carnations. She puts the finishing touches on a bouquet for a customer, double-checking the order on an invoice.

Eric [off-screen]: but I was so moved by her and her story and her drive that I said yes.

Rosa shows off a flower garland she made for another customer.

Customer: That's really beautiful! Perfect. Thank you.

The customer signs her credit card receipt.

Eric [off-screen]: If you're someone who is living paycheck to paycheck…

Customer: Thank you so much. It’s gorgeous.

Eric: …and can barely keep a few bucks in the bank, there's really no one wanting to do business with you because they can't make money. That's just the reality. Those are people that we should still do business with. They have a right to quality financial services. We're going to provide them with the same level of customer service and integrity that a bank does with more well-heeled clients.

Rosa: Eric say all the time, "Rosa. You have a dream. Don't stop."

Music shifts to another upbeat melody. Close-up of a bouquet of stargazer lilies. Rosa stands, smiling, in her flower shop, wearing a T-shirt that says “Paradise Flowers & Gifts, 650-368-3228.”

A restaurant named Smoke stands on a sunny street corner. People are sitting and eating at tables out front.

Tina Ferguson-Riffe [off-screen]: There’s none left. Are you gonna need more?

Close-up of barbeque ribs being sliced with a big knife in the kitchen. Customers walk, smiling, into the restaurant. Barbeque sauce is ladled onto a plate of ribs.

Tina: Come on in.

Tina grabs several items out of the industrial fridge in the restaurant kitchen.

Tina [onscreen]: My mission in the beginning was to make the best goddamn barbecue in the state of California.

Tina and two customers stand in front of the menu and “Today’s Specials!” boards, which Tina is explaining to them.

Tina: We do our laaamb saaandwich.

Tina bleats when she says “lamb sandwich” and the customers laugh. Employees bustle around the kitchen doing prep work, including rubbing seasoning on some meat. Front of house, a server rings up a customer at the register, while back of house prepares their order.

Tina [off-screen]: When we first opened, there were just two of us, and we were only open three hours a day. By being able to get a loan, I was able to hire more people. I was able to keep the business running during the really off months when my revenue was really low. I bought a smoker.

A server scoops ice out of the ice machine.

Tina: I bought an ice maker, and I didn't have to schlep ice every day, 20 pounds a day, take it home, put it in my freezer, bring it back up to the café, and use it the next day.

Tina spoons some green salsa into a bowl of cornbread batter and shredded cheddar cheese. She stirs everything together and smooths the batter into a half-sheet pan.

Tina: You want to take some corn chips to this. Oh my God. You go to heaven and back without dyin’. It's a really good salsa.

Tina is seated in her living room, wearing a Smoke Berkeley T-shirt.

Tina: I've never been so tired. I have never worked so hard. But I've never been so happy.

Tina is back in the restaurant kitchen.

Tina: Would y’all like another pan of cornbread?

Employee [off-screen]: Yes.

Tina: Okay.

It’s evening and the sun sets over Smoke restaurant.

Evelyn: I think it fundamentally changes the frame that people have about their lives.

Tina: I just got another loan from Opportunity Fund so we can build a beer garden in the back. This is just going to help us grow so much more. And then maybe we're gonna talk about Smoke Oakland, Smoke Richmond. Hmm. How ‘bout San Francisco? I don't know.

Rosa: In three years, I want to see my business big, grow up, a lot of stuff, and maybe have more employees. I don't know. You never know.

Eric: It wasn't so long ago we were working with maybe 100 people a year. This coming year it'll be more like 2,000. That's 2,000 people that will be able to make a meaningful investment in their own economic futures and that of their children, and that'll have ripples over many generations, and that feels good to me.

Onscreen text: Thanks to (in order of appearance) Bud Colligan, Leadership Councilmember; Evelyn Huang, Donor; Eric Weaver, Founder and CEO; Tina Ferguson-Riffe, Chef/Owner, Smoke Berkeley; Rosa Funes, Owner, Paradise Flowers

 

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Opportunity Fund: A small-business lending partner

Opportunity Fund: A small-business lending partner

Opportunity Fund is a nationally recognized CDFI committed to microfinance. Since 2015, Charles Schwab Bank’s $15 million loan has supported Opportunity Fund’s innovative work in helping entrepreneurs who can’t qualify at traditional banks both gain access to capital and receive the support needed to pay back their loans. By investing in small businesses, the organization helps create jobs and boost the economy. Opportunity Fund's community impact includes:

Opportunity Fund: A small-business lending partner

  • icon-house

    $92.7 million

    invested through 2,985 new small-business loans in 2018

  • icon-group

    20,000

    jobs created and retained through Opportunity Fund’s small-business lending program

  • icon-shopping cart

    $181 million

    spurred in additional annual economic activity through new wages, spending, and tax revenue

Taking on the affordable-housing crisis

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Taking on the affordable-housing crisis

Lack of affordable housing is an urgent and ongoing crisis. As rents continue to rise, lower-income residents and families are being displaced and forced to seek new housing—sometimes far from their jobs and support networks.

The effects of housing insecurity on health, education, employment, and life opportunities can be devastating. With our innovative partners and investments, we’re helping to address the issue by building and preserving more affordable housing.

 

The Housing Partnership Equity Trust: An affordable-housing partner

The Housing Partnership Equity Trust: An affordable-housing partner

The Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET) is the first and only social-purpose Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The trust is a collaboration of nonprofits raising capital for affordable housing. Backed by local market knowledge, our $10 million investment in the HPET is helping to acquire and preserve rental housing that is sustainable, affordable, high-quality, and close to jobs, good schools, and other community resources. HPET's community impact includes:

The Housing Partnership Equity Trust: An affordable-housing partner

  • icon-money

    $97 million

    invested in 2018

  • icon-building

    14

    multifamily residential properties developed

  • icon-housing

    2,955

    homes created for low-income families

Helping people navigate the road to better financial capability

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Helping people navigate the road to better financial capability

Charles Schwab Bank partners with community organizations that deliver financial literacy and coaching programs to help people take ownership of their financial futures. We believe that financially empowered people create financially strong communities.

 

MyPath Quote-Amadeos

 

"Learning about money management and savings helped me out in the real world. When I got my first job, I was able to save money and manage it wisely. My savings account is constantly building.”
 

Amadeos
MyPath Youth Program Assistant
MyPath Innovators Co-Leader

MyPath seeds economic mobility through financial education for today’s youth

Opens in popup+ Transcript

Brand music plays throughout.

Onscreen text: Charles Schwab Bank. My Path. Investing in our communities.

Alexis, a young African-American woman, walks past shopfronts in her neighborhood. Amadeos, a young Hispanic man, walks down a sunny alley with brightly painted murals on the building walls.  

Onscreen text: Low-income working youth need access to financial tools to get ahead. 

Margaret Libby [off-screen]: Anything you want to do in life, if you want to go to college, you want to start a business, you want to travel, you really need tools to save or borrow in order to realize those goals and those dreams.

Onscreen text: Margaret Libby, Founder & CEO, MyPath

Margaret, in a charcoal-gray blazer, print shirt, and black-frame glasses, sits in her office.

Margaret: There's real structural barriers in front of a lot of young people and especially low-income youth of color.

Onscreen text: Alexis, MyPath Program Assistant

Alexis, wearing a zip-front jacket with the MyPath logo, sits in Margaret’s office.

Alexis: I really didn't know what financial tools were.

Onscreen text: Amadeos, MyPath Youth Program Assistant

Amadeos sits in the same office, also wearing a MyPath logo jacket.

Amadeos: A lot of banks don't really offer youth their own accounts.

Onscreen text: Norel, MyPath Youth Participant

Norel, a young African-American man, sits in a light-filled room.

Norel: If you're able to make the money by yourself, then you should be able to bank by yourself and keep track of that money by yourself.

Onscreen text: MyPath has helped 4,500+ young people bank, save, and build credit.

A group of several young people, including Alexis and Norel, sit around a conference-room table, holding a discussion.

Margaret [off-screen]: The vision of MyPath is really that every low-income young person in the country who's earning a paycheck has the opportunity to make that not just about income but about lasting economic mobility.

Alexis works at a computer, then addresses the group around the conference table.

Margaret [off-screen]: One of the biggest ways that Schwab has supported us is by giving us the grant to bring MyPath savings to Reno, Nevada. That really created the first opportunity for us to test this model in a community outside of San Francisco.

Margaret [onscreen]: The way that MyPath goes about doing this youth financial capability work that we do is by establishing partnerships with youth employment programs.

Onscreen text: MyPath has partnered with 70+ youth employment programs and 8 credit unions in 11 cities.

Margaret answers the phone from her desk at MyPath.

Margaret [off-screen]: So we work with them to integrate banking, saving, and credit building into their program.

In a photograph, a group of MyPath students stands with their arms crossed in front of a Check Cashing establishment. Alexis then talks with an employee who is behind the counter at Self-Help Federal Credit Union.  

Alexis [off-screen]: I started off using check cashers when I came here, and that's not the healthy pathway. And once I came here and got into the program and started learning all these different things, I realized how important financial tools are.

Norel walks up to an ATM machine at Self-Help Federal Credit Union.

Norel: I'm actually just tried to start a fresh start loan so I could start up some credit for myself. It's kind of like a reverse loan. You get the money at the end instead of getting it at the beginning.

Amadeos chats with someone at work while sitting at his desk with headphones around his neck. He then walks down a sunny side street with colorful murals.

Amadeos: I learned about money management and savings. That really helped me out in the real world, because when I did get my first job, I was able to save my money, manage it wisely, and not go out and spend it recklessly. The money that I do have in my savings account is constantly building and building.

Onscreen text: MyPath has helped young people save over $1,500,000 since 2011.

Margaret: What we want young people to have in front of them when they're earning their first paychecks is this financial capability pathway.

Alexis and Norel walk down a busy sidewalk together, with signs for MyPath and, next door, Self-Help Federal Credit Union behind them.

Alexis: It's important to have these habits implemented while you’re young, so when you get older you're strong enough to handle these different challenges that comes towards you.

Norel: For me the perfect idea for how you should act financially is that you're starting one thing, but you're looking towards another thing. [FK1] 

Amadeos walks down a busy sidewalk on a clear, sunny day, then chats with people at work.

Amadeos: Now when I want to buy a car, when I want to buy a house, there are other steps that I have to take, but I'm well prepared. And I have a good foundation. I have good knowledge on how it is I should reach that goal.

Margaret: They're saving 30% of their income, which is amazing when you think about young people who are helping their families, they're contributing to their family income. And I think it really is a testament to the fact that if you put these opportunities and these tools into the hands of young people, they are going to use them, and they're going to do amazing things.

Onscreen text: Charles Schwab Bank. Own your tomorrow®. MyPath.

©2018 Charles Schwab Bank. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (1018-8XS4)

Disclosures

The Charles Schwab Corporation provides a full range of brokerage, banking and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC), offers investment services and products, including Schwab brokerage accounts. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products.

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MyPath: Building youth savings habits

MyPath: Building youth savings habits

Since 2011, Charles Schwab Bank has funded financial education programs for under-resourced youth across the West Coast. Through $265,000 in grants to the San Francisco–based nonprofit MyPath, we’ve helped expand the organization’s work to new cities and broaden its impact online. MyPath's community impact includes:

MyPath: Building youth savings habits

  • icon-group

    6,199

    youth served

  • icon-piggybank

    $3.4 million

    of savings

  • icon-USA

    13

    cities across America

0619-93X3