Nationally, 54% of black households and 43% of Hispanic households are unbanked or underbanked, compared to only 18% of white households. -- www.JoinBankOn.org
...why individuals opt to use alternative financial services or do not have a transaction account in a financial institution. The FDIC survey identified some common reasons:
•High costs or the perception of high cost: Many individuals believe they do not have enough money to maintain an account and are often deterred by “hidden” fees such as high minimum balance requirements, monthly service charges and overdraft fees.
•Convenience: Banks are often not accessible to low-income individuals due to their limited hours of operation and the lack of branches in some low-income neighborhoods.
•Need for immediate access to funds: For those residents not using direct deposit, a check deposited into a checking account can take several days to clear.
•Lack of knowledge: Many individuals lack sufficient financial knowledge to navigate through the often complicated mainstream financial system.
•Identification requirements: Residents may believe they cannot open an account because they do not have a U.S.-issued driver’s license – a common misconception among recent immigrants.
•Previous banking problems: Individuals may be barred from opening an account due to mistakes they made in previous banking relationships.
•Overall perceptions of banking: Many low-income residents are distrustful of banks, have a cultural history of not using banks or simply hold a general belief that banks are not for them.
1. FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Under-banked Households. 2009. Washington DC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (www.economicinclusion.gov).
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