MBNA Corporation, now part of Bank of America, was the nation’s top credit card company and one of the world’s biggest finance companies. It had a strong culture of concern for the well being of employees. This is an historical write-up of one the finest employee financial programs ever provided in the United States.
In 1993, leadership awareness that workers were facing significant financial pressures at home that spilled over into the workplace prompted MBNA to take action to assist its employees. MBNA believed that having a team of financial advisors to administer confidential, individual counseling would be an effective and appropriate investment. Therefore, the company founded the Financial Advisory Service (FAS) at MBNA in 1993. The company was also concerned that its employees might access company systems and information to perpetrate fraud if financial pressures reached high levels. Therefore, a secondary purpose of FAS was to provide relief that might help to mitigate fraud. MBNA is one of the first major corporations to offer such a robust program to support its employees.
After a year of offering only financial counseling, MBNA introduced additional programs to supplement the FAS. MBNA introduced loan products that saved its employees money while also generating revenue for the company. It was an innovative program and an outstanding practice that paid dividends to all parties.
MBNA also launched a charitable giving program that provided grants/gifts to its employees with very compelling needs. This gave the corporation the ability to provide direct funding to help employees resolve financial crisis situations. Through the charitable giving program, MBNA advisors worked with its employees to assess each situation and search local and national charities to find support. If external charities were unable to meet employee needs and if the situation met MBNA guidelines, the corporation provided direct financial assistance to help resolve the situation.
As a result of MBNA’s commitment and concern for the well-being of its employees, we consider MBNA Corporation to be an employer who in years past exemplified many of the principles and goals of the Personal Finance Employee Education Fund. Also impressive is that their quality employee financial program was not only self-funded, it also earned a small profit.