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Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment (SOFIE)

Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment (SOFIE)
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About SOFIE

Originally proposed in a 2020 State of the State address, former Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the creation of a Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment (SOFIE) to meet the financial services needs of low- and middle-income New Yorkers across the state.

The state’s first office focused on community wealth-building, SOFIE will strengthen the mission of the Department to protect and empower all New York consumers and move DFS’ priority of economic justice forward.

SOFIE will work with stakeholders across the state to identify and develop strategies to increase household and community wealth, particularly for historically underserved populations, and to help connect consumers with local services.  It will coordinate existing work and initiatives across the state with community partners to develop and incubate novel ideas and approaches to economic empowerment and justice, and be a source of New York-related data analysis and research.

The new office will:

  • Maintain a centralized list of financial services counseling providers - across housing, student loan, debt and general financial literacy - throughout the State.
  • Coordinate state and local services aimed at expanding access to credit and opportunities for wealth building.
  • Incubate new programs to expand access to safe and affordable banking services, credit and financial education; coordinate public-private partnerships.
  • Foster provision of high-quality, low-cost financial products statewide.

Leadership

Tremaine Wright has been appointed as the first Director of the DFS Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment (SOFIE).

Tremaine previously represented the 56th District of the New York State Assembly and was Chair of New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, as well as Chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Foster Care. Prior to her election to the New York State Assembly, Tremaine practiced law at Brooklyn Legal Services and private law firms, served as a pro bono lawyer for the Volunteers of Legal Services’ Incarcerated Mothers Project, and volunteered with the City Bar Association’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project. She holds a J.D. from University of Chicago Law School, and a B.A. from Duke University.

Help for Consumers

If you are a consumer looking for more information about banking, saving, borrowing, getting out of debt safely, purchasing insurance and more, visit our Consumer Information section.

If you have a question or want to file a complaint about, a financial product or service in New York, visit the DFS Contact Us page to find out how to contact us.

Help for Small Businesses

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our economy.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Development

Green Economy

More helpful information for small businesses about health insurance, property insurance, cybersecurity and more can be found in the Small Business Resources section.

Grants, Loans, and Opportunities

The NYC[x] Moonshot: Financial Inclusion Challenge

The New York City Office of Financial Empowerment has partnered with NYC[x] Moonshots, a civic innovation program run by the New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. It identifies innovative solutions to ensure emerging technology and groundbreaking business models work for New Yorkers. They do this through partnerships with city agencies and a global innovation competition. Desired solutions should utilize breakthrough financial inclusion technology, innovative models, and culturally relevant approaches to address the barriers unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers in the Bronx and across New York City face and facilitate building community wealth and sustainable economic opportunities.

Grants

New York State has numerous grant opportunities available to help launch or support an organization, particularly if affected by the COVID pandemic.

Loans

Workforce Development

SOFIE supports both workers and workplaces in creating a just and inclusive economy in the state of New York.

Financial Planning Tools

SOFIE compiles resources to help you save, meet expenses, build wealth, and retire in New York State.

If you are a consumer looking for more information about banking, saving, borrowing, getting out of debt safely, purchasing insurance and more, visit our Consumer Information section.

If you have a question or want to file a complaint about, a financial product or service in New York, visit the DFS Contact Us page to find out how to contact us.

Inclusion News

Calendar

September 2, 2021
Three Things About MWBE Certification (WEDC)

September 9, 2021
Money Smart Train-the-Trainer Webinar (FDIC)

September 15, 2021
The Case for Broad Investments in Maternal and Child Health (NYFed) 

September 22 and 23, 2021
Inclusiv Virtual Conference (Inclusiv.org)

September 28, 2021
Money Smart for Small Business Town Hall Webinar (FDIC)

Questions?

If you are a consumer looking for financial education materials to help you make good financial decisions visit the DFS Consumer Information section.

If you have a question about, or want to file a complaint about, a financial product or service in New York, visit the DFS Contact Us page to find out how to contact us.

To contact the Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment (SOFIE), send an email to [email protected]