Financial Health

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Financial Health


MetLife Foundation is committed to expanding financial health around the world through research and insights, innovation, and long-term partnerships — with a focus on low- and moderate-income populations. Here’s a look at some of the Foundation's signature efforts globally.

Building financial independence with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) understands that healthy, sustainable communities are made up of people who have living-wage jobs and feel confident about their economic futures. MetLife Foundation understands this too. That’s why the Foundation supports LISC’s efforts to provide low- and moderate-income individuals with the skills they need to gain meaningful employment and manage their money through budgeting, building good credit, and saving for education and retirement. Since 2013, MetLife Foundation has contributed almost $8 million to LISC for its network of Financial Opportunity Centers, which provides employment services, one-on-one financial coaching, and low-cost financial products that help build credit, savings, and assets for thousands of clients nationwide.

Improving financial decision-making with Common Cents Lab

Research has shown that human behavior — even that which seems irrational — is often quite predictable. Understanding human behavior can inform better product development to help people plan for the future, manage their daily financial lives, and improve their financial health. In 2017, MetLife Foundation supported the creation of Common Cents Lab (CCL), a financial decision-making lab at Duke University, to more deeply understand and leverage behavioral science in order to design better financial products and services for low- and moderate-income people that will support healthy financial choices. Now in its fourth year, the Lab uses behavioral science to help people improve their financial decision-making by focusing on what motivates their decisions and by designing and tweaking financial products/services to meet those needs. With the success of CCL in the US, the program has been expanded into Mexico, Turkey, and China.

Empowering women with Trickle Up

Empowering women with the right skills, financial assistance, and social support can have a large-scale positive impact on societies. Trickle Up, a global nonprofit, works with some of the most financially vulnerable people in the world, particularly women, to help advance their economic and social well-being. With MetLife Foundation's support, Trickle Up delivers the Graduation Approach — a proven methodology to get people out of extreme poverty that provides participants with seed capital to start a microbusiness. Participants also learn financial and business management skills and come together in groups to help each other access government benefits and banking services such as savings and credit.

Finance Forward supports early-stage entrepreneurs building financial health solutions

Together with Village Capital and PayPal, MetLife Foundation founded the global Finance Forward initiative in 2019 to support tech-enabled solutions to financial health globally. The program spans the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and India, and provides seed capital to the most promising entrepreneurial solutions while engaging MetLife employees as business mentors. Finance Forward will feature nine regional accelerator programs and boot camps over the next two years, with each program driving investment to entrepreneurs building solutions to improve the financial health of low- and medium-income people and small business owners. Participating companies will be eligible to receive grants ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 to help support the growth of their company.

Creating access and opportunity for women: Building financial health among garment factory workers in Bangladesh

We live in a world today where financial health is a persistent challenge for low- to moderate-income communities — a world where 1.7 billion adults don’t have a bank account and where, even in the United States, many would have trouble meeting a large emergency expense. In Bangladesh, approximately 80% of garment workers are women, the majority of whom receive their salaries in cash, have low levels of financial literacy, and lack access to formal banking services. The combination can make it difficult for workers to protect their income and save for the future.

Since 2018, MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact have been supporting Sarathi, a financial inclusion program that works with commercial banks and garment factories to bring workers into the formal banking system. The program enables garment factory owners to pay their workers digitally, enabling workers to receive their pay more securely while reducing their transaction costs. Sarathi is also developing products in partnership with local banks that help workers receive their salaries straight into their bank accounts, save securely for their short- and long-term goals, earn credit to meet their cash flow, and meet other needs. Through this initiative, several partnerships have been established, including commercial banks opening offices and ATM machines in and around garment factories so that workers can make transactions in a secure and convenient manner. With hands-on financial literacy sessions, Sarathi works to raise awareness of how banking services can help workers take control of their incomes and improve their financial health.

Supporting financial health in Mexico

In Mexico, MetLife Foundation and partner BFA Global created the FinnSalud project. The project works closely with local financial institutions, fintech entrepreneurs, nonprofit partners, and government actors focused on improving financial health in Mexico. The project will develop a methodology and tools to measure financial health. Based on what we learn, BFA Global will develop targeted financial products to support low- and moderate-income Mexicans.