Helping Low-Income Consumers Save Can Mean High Profits for Smart Banks


Conrad Lee

A change in US tax law will allow part of tax-payers' refunds to be directly deposited to IDAs; this may create a significant business opportunity for banks.

Serving the Underbanked: Models Vary

by Jennifer Tescher
In this American Banker opinion piece, CFSI director Jennifer Tescher discusses the varied methods used by financial services providers to reach the underbanked, drawing on examples from the inaugural Underbanked Financial Services Forum.

High Cost of Being Poor IX: Assembly Targets Businesses That Prey on Working Poor


Jonathan D. Epstein and Rod Watson

The New York State Assembly will hold hearings on alternative financial service providers, in response to the Buffalo News investigative series "The High Cost of Being Poor".

The High Cost of Being Poor I: Editor's Note


Rod Watson and Jonathan D. Epstein

This article, the first in a series by the Buffalo News based on a five-month investigation, documents the high financial costs borne by the underbanked. The article also documents Buffalo residents' myriad reasons for not opening bank accounts.

A Telling Level of Interest in Underbanked


Ben Jackson

Attendees at CFSI/SourceMedia's first annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum found new ideas and inspiration for reaching the segment. The conference drew 400 attendees from banks, credit unions, alternative providers, and government, among others.

Unbanked: Why Some Say the Time is Now


H. Michael Jalili

More than four hundred people will attend the Underbanked Financial Services Forum, produced by Source Media and CFSI. Interest in the underserved market has been propelled by greater understanding of the size and needs of this segment by financial institutions, and by ...

Financial Access for Immigrants: Lessons from Diverse Perspectives


Anna Paulsen, et al.

This report, coauthored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Brookings Institution, summarizes the conclusions of various conference and research projects related to financial access for immigrants. Topics include an analysis of the current financial practices of immigrants, an industry ...

The Changing World of Retail Financial Services


Ellen Seidman

This Powerpoint presentation provides a broad overview of banking issues related to low-income populations and the unbanked. The report provides a wealth of demographic data and outlines the issues of banking with regard to this population.
35 pp.   

A new way to help California's poor


Anne Stuhldreher

California is exploring new ways of helping the 29% of its population considered asset poor to build savings and assets. Such programs include the such as matching 2-to-1 on every $1 being saved for particular investments such as buying a home or ...
2 pp.   

Beyond Remittances: What Tactics Work


Lindenmayer, Isabe

This article discusses the growing use of hybrid-business models in reaching out to the unbanked community. Businesses that combine non-traditional financial services, especially check cashing, with traditional banking products and are making headway in penetrating the unbanked market. Among the successful combinations ...
4 pp.   

2005 Credit Card Survey


Consumer Action News

The credit card study by Consumer Action outlines the top reasons "that lead banks to impose high universal default and penalty rates. According to CA's Linda Sherry, who coordinated the survey, 'The factors cited by card issuers are very broad. It appears ...
12 pp.   

Retirement Security for Latinos: Bolstering Coverage, Savings and Adequacy


Peter R. Orszag and Eric Rodriguez

This is a study of Latino retirement savings patterns by the Pew Charitable Trust's Retirement Security Project and the National Council of La Raza. The study shows that Hispanics in the United States lag the general population in accumulating retirement savings. The ...
26 pp.   

The National Taxpayer Advocate's Fiscal Year 2006 Objectives Report to Congress


Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate

The National Taxpayer Advocate's report urges the IRS to focus on ways to increase voluntary compliance among taxpayers, as voluntary compliance is central to the operations of the IRS. "The report identifies four areas of particular emphasis in FY 2006:" Private debt ...
232 pp.   

Unbanked to Homeowner


Jennifer Tescher

Unbanked to Homeowner: Improving the Supply of Financial Services for Low-Income, Low-Asset Customers

The research that laid the foundation for CFSI argues that the interests of the financial services industry and low-income consumers are converging. The paper also presents evidence that this development ...

32 pp.   

Credit Where It Counts: Maintaining a Strong Community Reinvestment Act


Michael S. Barr (The Brookings Institution)

"The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has helped to revitalize low- and moderate income communities and provided expanded opportunities for low- and moderateincome households. Recent regulatory steps aimed at alleviating burdens on banks and thrifts are unwarranted, and may diminish small business lending ...
8 pp.