Archive | FDIC

Consumers will move with their feet to financial options that work for them

Yesterday, as we blogged, the FDIC released a study showing that 821,000 households opted out of the banking system from 2009 to 2011 and that the unbanked population grew to 8.2 percent of U.S. households.

As a Washington Post article points out today, roughly 17 million adults are without a checking or savings account. Another 51 million adults have a bank account, but use pawnshops, payday lenders, or rent-to-own services, the FDIC said.

This goes to show that consumers are making the choice to use alternative financial services. As a reminder, there are certain requirements that a customer must have in order to obtain a payday advance:

  • An active checking account,
  • Proof of regular income,
  • Proper identification,
  • Upon completion of a simple application and approval, a borrower must read and sign an agreement containing disclosures required by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and
  • Write a personal check for the amount of the advance plus the fixed fee.

When customers start to migrate and make the choice to use our services—which have collectively been called “alternative” but are now evident to be mainstream—this should be a tell-tale sign that consumers have the competency to pick what financial option works best for their given situation. More options for the consumer will force banks to lower prices and become more competitive in the marketplace. When this happens, consumers benefit.

Even payday industry critics understand the consumer’s rationale for choosing to use non-bank services:

“Banks need to have pricing and practices that consumers can trust and allow them to build wealth and have economic mobility,” said Deborah Goldstein, chief operating officer at the Center for Responsible Lending. “If the account fees will leave them worse off, then its going to be a challenge for people to use banking services.”

Posted in Access to Credit, Alternatives, Center for Responsible Lending, CFSA, Customers, FDIC, Industry Critics, Washington Post0 Comments

FDIC survey finds increase in unbanked and underbanked households

There are many benefits to establishing a relationship with an insured financial institution, yet according to a recent survey, a growing number of U.S. households today are either unbanked or underbanked.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today released the results of its 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, which revealed that “more than one in four U.S. households (28.3 percent) are either unbanked or underbanked, a slight increase from the findings of the FDIC’s 2009 inaugural survey.”

The new survey also found one-quarter of households have used at least one alternative financial service (AFS), such as non-bank check cashing or payday loans in the past year, and almost one in 10 households have used two or more types of AFS products or services. In all, 12 percent of households used an AFS in the past 30 days, including four in 10 unbanked and underbanked households.

These survey findings are a testament to a reality of our financial system – that millions of Americans turn to various financial products offered by banks and non-banks for their specific financial situation. Recognizing the need to serve different economic groups in different ways with different financial products and services is the first step toward creating a better market that works for consumers.

Posted in Access to Credit, Alternatives, FDIC, Industry0 Comments

Sheila Bair signing off

Sheila Bair, the Bush-appointed chairman of the FDIC, has stepped down. Her tenure ends today and to fill her shoes: Martin Gruenberg, “her low-profile successor.”

According to CNN Money, “Gruenberg enjoys wide support from both industry and consumer advocates.”

Posted in CNN, FDIC0 Comments

Shelby finally throws some support

Senator Richard Shelby, the leading Republican on banking issues, has finally thrown support to one of the White House’s nominees in government agency leadership. In recent months, Shelby’s opposition helped sink the nominations of Peter Diamond to be a governor of the Federal Reserve Board and Joseph Smith to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. But now he’s singing a different tune with the FDIC.

“I believe he is a credible, honest man and I look forward to supporting him,” Shelby told Reuters in an interview about Martin Gruenberg.

Posted in FDIC, Federal Government, Reuters0 Comments

Are you watching?

The FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion is meeting right now, discussing the state of economic inclusion and the way forward. Click here to watch (there’s also an option to read the live transcript).

Posted in FDIC0 Comments

The way forward

Next week, FDIC Advisory Committee is set to discuss the state of economic inclusion and the way forward.

Financial capability efforts offer one promising path for reaching more underserved consumers. In the most effective examples of these efforts, new technologies and innovations drive the success. Speakers and panelists will describe their recent work and will discuss the future of economic inclusion efforts with the Committee.

“So much has happened since the Committee was formed in 2006. We have a changed banking system as a result of the financial crisis and the challenges facing LMI homeowners are equally different,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair. “This is an opportunity, at the end of my tenure, to take stock of how underserved households are faring and to chart the way forward for important efforts that help all Americans achieve financial security.”

The meeting will be open to the general public and the media and will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the FDIC Board Room, located on the sixth floor of the FDIC headquarters building at 550 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The meeting agenda and a link to the live webcast on June 2 can be found at

Posted in Access to Credit, Customers, FDIC0 Comments





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