MBA Financial Literacy Awards 

Each year, the Michigan Bankers Association recognizes member banks for their outstanding work in financial literacy. The MBA Financial Literacy Awards recognize the industry’s hard work in financial literacy education and what member banks provide their customers and communities. All MBA member banks are invited to submit an entry for one or both awards: MBA Financial Literacy Award and the Innovator Award. 

Congratulations to our 2021 Winners:


2021 Financial Literacy Innovator Award Winner: Mercantile Bank

Going Virtual
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercantile Bank went on lockdown like most other organizations. To prevent the spread of COVID -19, protect employees and communities, Mercantile Bank stopped all in person volunteering.  As all their financial education programming was done in person through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and schools, the Bank was challenged with figuring out how to continue to provide financial education when the Bank, their partners, and their clients were all isolated and working from home.  Mercantile Bank immediately focused on transitioning programming to a virtual platform and getting volunteers comfortable with using technology to present information. They then had to figure out how to get their partners to consider virtual programming.  The Bank reviewed over 40 financial education programs/partnerships and identified the programs that might be able to quickly transition to a virtual platform. Mercantile Bank knew that they would not be able to facilitate some programming such as their programming for seniors and shelters in 2020. They immediately reached out to those nonprofit organizations that we felt would be able to transition quickly to a virtual platform. Mercantile Bank assisted them in getting set up with a virtual platform, provided training on how to use a virtual platform, and assisted in promoting the virtual workshops.  Their first partner that they were able to work with to transition to a virtual platform was Home Repair Services and the first class was taught virtually on April 23rd.  Initially, Mercantile Bank taught all the virtual classes for Home Repair Services. By August, Home Repair Services was able to add volunteers from other financial institutions.  Of the 42 financial education partnerships Mercantile Bank had in 2019, they were able to transition 15 to a virtual environment in 2020 which allowed them to teach 78 classes in 2020.  They had 15 employees that volunteered to teach classes and were able to impact 583 individuals. These numbers are significantly lower than the 2019 numbers but if Mercantile Bank was not focused on going virtual, they would not have been able to provide financial education in 2020.  

Keep Us Up To Date With YOUR Financial Literacy Programs

With schools closed nationwide due to the coronavirus, bankers are taking their financial literacy programs online to bring students the fundamentals of financial literacy, including the basics of savings, how to create a budget and how to distinguish needs from wants.

The Teach Children to Save Program began in 1997, as ABA’s financial education initiatives have reached 11.1 million young people with the help of more than 350,000 banker presentations. Thank you to all MBA member banks that participated virtually on April 24th. 

We want to hear your stories about the event. Please send your press releases to Alyssa Bouchard,

Financial Literacy Programs Available

If members are involved in a financial literacy program (that can be utilized by other bankers) which is not listed on the page, please contact us This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it about adding your program to this page.

The MBA is committed to helping Michigan banking institutions provide an environment promoting financial education and inclusion. BankON products can be applicable to markets across Michigan. From Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, to Detroit and Flint, BankOn offers a solution that would every bank in that state can consider. As our industry as a whole continues to focus on financial education and inclusion BankOn is an innovative tool in the fight. Learn about BankOn. 

FDIC: Money Smart, Train-the-Trainer

The ABA Foundation provides financial education programs and resources that help bankers make their communities better.  All of the programs below offer free banker registration.  
ABA's Top 10 Tips for College Students
Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign of volunteer bankers who work with young people to raise awareness about the importance of using credit wisely.
Lights Camera Save! is a video contest that engages teens in educating themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely.
Safe Banking for Seniors is a national campaign that helps older customers and their financial caregivers understand and mitigate the risks of fraud and financial abuse.
Teach Children to Save is a national program that organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop a lifelong savings habit.

Questions? Contact ABA Community Engagement Foundation for more information.