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FDICs survey on bank service to underserved released
WASHINGTON (3/13/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has released results of its nationwide survey of FDIC-insured banks and their efforts to serve underserved individuals and families. A summary distributed by the California Department of Financial Insititutions (DFI) said the report showed room for improvement in the areas of focus, outreach and commitment. Most of the 685 banks responding to the survey, in fact 63%, said they offer basic financial education materials. However, the DFI noted, fewer participate “in the types of outreach efforts that are viewed by the industry as most effective to attract and maintain unbanked and underbanked individuals as long-term customers.” “Banks are concerned about the profitability of doing business with unbanked and underbanked individuals as well as perceived regulatory issues related to anti-money laundering laws and regulations,” according to the DFI. More favorable, the DFI also pointed out that more than half of the banks have offered limited extended hours and foreign language services at their retail branch operations in the last five years in efforts to make the bank more appealing or convenient for unbanked and underbanked customers. The survey, required of the FDIC by law, was conducted by Dove Consulting, a division of Hitachi Consulting. Participation was voluntary and 54% of the random sample of FDIC-insured banks and thrifts responded. Use the resource link below to access the report, complete with 16 cases studies of innovations to serve the underserved.
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