Improving Access to Financial Services in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn

Client: Emerging Markets, Inc.
Faculty: Kei Hayashi, Steven Jacobs
Team: Noam Hurvitz-Prinz, Andrea Israel, Jonathan Libutti, Robert Siniscalchi
Year: 2012
Access to and use of traditional banking services has historically been limited in low-income neighborhoods, forcing residents to rely on fringe financial services providers with higher rates and fewer opportunities to save. Emerging Markets Inc. (EMI), a hybrid for-profit/not-for-profit firm carrying out 'place-based initiatives,' partnered with Capital One Bank to request information about the Cypress Hills Brooklyn neighborhood that may reveal opportunities for community economic benefit as well as profitable bank activity. The Capstone team, through primary and secondary research, developed a detailed snapshot of the neighborhood, including demographic conditions, business patterns, and existing financial services. In addition, the team profiled the landscape of neighborhood organizations and identified opportunities for banking partnerships with local businesses as a way of expanding their reach in the neighborhood and increasing community member access to mainstream financial services.