Building a More Inclusive and Equitable Banking System in Colorado

Financial Inclusion Summit 2023

August 3, 2023

First Southwest Bank (FSWB) recently participated in an important dialogue around financial inclusion in Colorado. Sherry Waner, FSWB Chief Development Officer, attended the Bank On Colorado Financial Inclusion Summit hosted by the Colorado Office of Financial Empowerment on July 25th in Denver. Sherry was a panelist discussing Banking Barriers for Economically Vulnerable Communities.

In Colorado and across the nation, many Americans lack access to safe banking and credit options, which are essential to achieving financial stability. Luckily, there are national and local movements to combat this. The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s national Bank On platform supports local coalition and financial institution efforts to connect consumers to safe, affordable bank accounts.

“Many Americans are driven to use expensive alternative financial services, including check cashers, payday lenders, and pawn shops that charge high fees for financial services that fail to help people get ahead. Without a checking account, families wind up paying too much for basic financial transactions and are hard pressed to build savings and assets.” (Source: 

The Bank On Colorado Financial Inclusion Summit in Denver brought together stakeholders from financial institutions, community organizations and government programs to discuss financial inclusion and how to break down barriers to access to fair, safe and affordable banking products for the socially disadvantaged, which includes those subject to domestic violence, women, immigrants, veterans, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.. 

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) bank, FSWB is both an industry leader and economic mobility and asset building stakeholder, striving to create a more inclusive environment for all Coloradoans to be able to thrive financially. 

FSWB’s Checkless Checking account is a safe, low cost bank account certified by Bank On. With a minimum opening deposit of just $25, this account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service charge, waived returned item and overdraft fees, waived early account closure fee and waived dormant account fee.

FSWB is a locally owned, independent community bank, and one of two Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) banks in Colorado offering personal and business banking, agricultural and small business loans. FSWB is committed to continue this important work with leaders across the state, providing a more inclusive financial environment and enabling economic opportunity for all Coloradoans.