ATLANTA, Sept. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- SunTrust (NYSE: STI) today announced that five million people have taken a step to improve their financial wellness through tools, tips and counseling from The onUp Movement. In 2016, after uncovering through extensive research that 75% of Americans were experiencing financial stress, SunTrust launched "onUp," a national movement for financial confidence.
"From building a budget, to tracking spending and starting a savings plan, we are seeing Americans work to gain greater control over money matters," said Mark Chancy, Consumer Banking executive at SunTrust. "Our company set a goal of helping five million people over five years, and we are very pleased to have reached that milestone in less than four years."
According to the SunTrust National Financial Confidence Poll, one-third of Americans (34%) feel they are living paycheck to paycheck, 79% report experiencing financial stress in the previous six months, and about half (49%) do not have $2,000 on hand for emergencies without dipping into retirement savings.
SunTrust unveiled The onUp Movement with a Super Bowl ad that shed light on the burden of financial stress for Americans and introduced a series of actions and tools on onUp.com to help people take the first step toward financial confidence. In addition to online resources, SunTrust has advanced financial wellness through support of Operation HOPE counselors in select branch locations; provided financial wellness workshops through employee volunteer efforts and offered a not-for-profit workplace financial wellness program, Momentum onUp, to other companies.
"Our Momentum onUp workplace program is now used by more than 200 companies to improve the financial stability of their employees," said Beau Cummins, SunTrust Wholesale Banking executive. "For employees completing the program, those living by a budget increased from 43% to 87%, and those saving for retirement increased their investment contributions for retirement by 35%."
The SunTrust Foundation's philanthropic efforts support nonprofits, such as Autism Speaks, Money Management Inc. and the SunTrust Student Financial Management Center at Georgia State University among others, that are improving the financial well-being of people in the community.
"More important than the number of participants is what this milestone represents – that people are beginning to take action to build financial confidence," said Susan Somersille Johnson, SunTrust chief marketing officer. "The onUp Movement has empowered people to talk about one of the biggest taboos, money. Businesses are making it part of their benefits programs, people are sharing the resources and many are telling their stories for inspiration."
Across all income levels, SunTrust research shows that Americans with high financial confidence also practice behaviors to actively manage their money – such as using a budget, managing debt, saving regularly, maximizing their income and planning for retirement. onUp participants are encouraged to take steps to adopt one or more of those behaviors, and participants that have seen success say that taking control of their finances makes them feel empowered, in control and confident.
"I feel more confident than ever with my finances. Changing how I view my spending habits has put me in the position to have choices, and it helped me realize that my dream of moving to the beach was within my reach," said Renee Pitchford, a school teacher in Rosemary Beach, Florida, and onUp participant since 2016. "onUp has given me the tools and resources to reach my goals, and I would encourage others that are feeling anxiety caused by money to join the movement." Read more inspirational stories about the journey to financial confidence here.
For tips, tools and inspiration to gain financial confidence, join The onUp Movement at onUp.com.
SunTrust National Financial Confidence Poll
The SunTrust National Financial Confidence Poll is fielded quarterly and representative of the U.S. adult population with participating Americans of different ages, incomes and geographic regions. Statistics referenced in this release are from the poll fielded in Q2 2019.
About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Company has two business segments: Consumer and Wholesale. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of June 30, 2019, SunTrust had total assets of $222 billion and total deposits of $161 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. Learn more at suntrust.com.
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SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.