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For Immediate Release

Jane Yedinak
Union Bank
(415) 765-3241

Sherry Tate John
Operation HOPE
(213) 891-2908


$500,000 commitment will help promote youth financial literacy programs in schools

Los Angeles - January 24, 2011 - Operation HOPE (HOPE) announced today that Union Bank, N.A. is the founding sponsor of the FIVE MILLION KIDS Initiative (5MK) through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. In a ceremony at the HOPE Oakland Financial Literacy Empowerment Forum on October 19, 2010, Union Bank Vice Chairman and Chief Retail Banking Officer Timothy H. Wennes and Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President, Community Banking, who also serves on HOPE’s National Board, Pierre P. Habis signed the agreement with HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant.

This 5-year agreement details Union Bank’s $500,000 commitment to HOPE, to partner in HOPE programs that provide financial literacy education including the FIVE MILLION KIDS initiative, the Banking on Our Future youth financial literacy program, and the HOPE Banking Center Network. In addition, the agreement contains a pledge to have Union Bank employees become HOPE Corps volunteers - playing an integral role in providing financial education in the communities that it serves. Union Bank is a long-standing supporter of HOPE and was one of the first financial institutions to join forces with the financial literacy nonprofit in 1992.

As a member of the Financial Services Roundtable (the Roundtable), the Union Bank commitment is a part of a larger agreement between HOPE and the Roundtable. Union Bank’s commitment to HOPE represents the largest HOPE-Roundtable-related agreement on the West Coast to date. The Framework, signed in June 2009, is a landmark industry agreement between the Roundtable and Operation HOPE, designed to demonstrate the financial services industry’s commitment to financial literacy through highly visible principles and the efforts of one of the Roundtable’s leading non-profit partners, Operation HOPE. (Details of the initial HOPE-Roundtable agreement can be found here.) 

"The focus of the FIVE MILLION KIDS Initiative is to break the back of the high school dropout rate in America where being dumb has become cool," said John Hope Bryant, who serves on the Obama Administration’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. "Involving the entire community, from volunteers from the banking sector to parents to teachers and to celebrities like Quincy Jones, Operation HOPE is focused on making a difference in the lives of our youth and to ‘Make Smart Sexy’ again."

"Union Bank’s Operation HOPE commitment comes from our dedication to make a difference in our communities through financial education and employee volunteer service," said Habis. "As the first national sponsor of the 5MK Initiative, our focus is to make a practical and tangible difference in the lives of our youth by providing them with financial knowledge through education."

As a part of the 5MK Initiative, Operation HOPE plans to roll out the inaugural Banking on Our Future Celebrity Edition featuring music icon Quincy Jones. The curriculum, expected to be released in the first quarter of 2011, is especially designed to incorporate the traditional Banking on Our Future curriculum and weave the inspiring story of 5MK National co-chair, humanitarian and multi-Grammy award-winning music icon’s personal story from growing up on Chicago’s South Side to producing some of the world’s most influential albums and films.

The signing of this agreement was a part of the HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Forum in Oakland, California which was broadcast on Ustream (and is available here). The event involved regional and national leaders from government, public- and private-sectors as they discussed economic growth for our inner-cities as one of the keys to economic prosperity as the nation recovers from the economic downturn.

Through its foundation, Union Bank proactively invests in the communities in which the bank operates for the benefit of low-to-moderate income individuals and families. The Union Bank Foundation focuses on four program areas: Affordable Housing, Community Economic Development, Education, and the Environment.

Annually, Union Bank awards a total of two percent of the Bank’s after-tax earnings to nonprofits through the Bank and Foundation. In 2009, the bank’s charitable investment in communities where the bank is located totaled $11 million, including $9.8 million in grants, contributions, and sponsorships to help finance the efforts of nonprofit organizations within the bank’s marketplace.

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.

Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $80 billion at September 30, 2010. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 397 banking offices in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, as well as two international offices, on September 30, 2010. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit for more information.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been America’s leading financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit. With a presence in 70 U.S. cities and South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million and helped to restructure more than $360 million in sub-prime mortgages from the private sector, for a total of approximately $900 million in economic activity for the disenfranchised in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. With the support of more than 400 private sector companies, 3,500 nonprofit organizations and schools and 100 government partners, Operation HOPE has provided over 1.2 million low-wealth individuals with economic education and financial literacy support and empowerment. Taking the lead at making sure our free enterprise system is relevant to all underserved individuals and communities, Operation HOPE has taken on the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement and ensuring that free enterprise and capitalism work to provide a better future for all. To learn more about HOPE, visit our website at or follow us at, and