MetLife Foundation financial inclusion commitments reach more than six million low-income individuals
NEW YORK, June 19, 2018 /3BL Media/ – MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced its impact investment portfolio grew to $50 billion in 2017, an increase of 12 percent year-over-year from 2016 to 2017, and MetLife Foundation reached more than six million low-income individuals through the fourth year of its five year, $200 million dollar commitment to financial inclusion.
Every month, Donna Bowen of Mattapan, Massachusetts, communicates with around 45 complete strangers. Some are looking for advice on saving or credit-building, while others want to compare notes on issues like housing or education. They come from all places: not just nearby Boston, but Detroit, Albuquerque and Oakland. Each has a personal goal in mind—like purchasing a home, getting out of debt or starting their own business—and whatever the case, wherever they are, Bowen is there to lend an open ear and a voice of experience.
The financial technology, or fintech, revolution is gaining momentum in the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region. Fintech investments in MENA totaled $18 million in 2016. In 2017, that figure was surpassed by a single $20 million round raised by the payment platform Paytabs, leading to heightened interest among investors: Wamda Research Lab, for example, puts total 2017 fintech investments in MENA at more than $50 million, a 270 percent year-over-year increase.
Consumer debt has reached record highs amid an economy that, on the surface of things, looks more robust than at any point since the Great Recession. Unemployment is at historic lows, and wages are up, leading to many optimistic interpretations of current debt trends. Yet signs continue to point to the fragility of many families’ finances. Costs of healthcare, housing, and food have all risen faster than increases in income. Debt in collections appears on one-third of all consumer credit reports.
Mohammed Ali and his siblings had been driving past the vacant gas station on the east side of Saint Paul, Minnesota for years before they finally decided to make an offer to buy it—with the idea of opening a restaurant and grocery store catering to the neighborhood’s vibrant community of immigrants.
Naffie Baldeh was 27 when she decided to go back to school. A single mother in the South Bronx, she’d been in and out of community colleges over the years as her family obligations and financial circumstances allowed.