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Kids savings underserved on FDIC panel agenda
WASHINGTON (11/10/10)—Children’s savings and underserved consumers are the top issues of an upcoming Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN) meeting. ComE-In was formed in 2007 by the agency to explore ways of bringing unbanked consumers into the mainstream of financial services. At its inaugural meeting November of that year, Norb Kaczmarek, president/CEO of Erie (Pa.) FCU and chairman of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, presented information on the Credit Union Better Choice Program, a payday lending alternative designed in conjunction with state officials. At the Nov. 16 meeting, The advisory panel specifically will be looking at recent studies of underserved consumers, as well as government-sponsored children's savings programs that are offered in several countries, Canada, Singapore, and South Korea included. In announcing the meeting in a release, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said, "I am especially interested in hearing the Committee members' views about how the FDIC can advance the children's savings account concept for (low- to moderate-income) and underserved families in the United States." "International programs and pilot programs in the U.S. have shown that children's savings accounts can be a great way to instill a habit of saving and can help young people build a savings cushion for the future," said. Bair. "I am especially interested in hearing the committee members' views about how the FDIC can advance the children's savings account concept for LMI and underserved families in the United States." When asked if a credit union representative would be invited to the upcoming session to discuss extensive credit union involvement in the areas to be discussed an FDIC spokesman said he believed the discussion would be centered on FDIC-insured banks. One way that credit unions encourage children to save is by providing access to their savings accounts from the "workplace"--school. As of Aug. 25, the Credit Union National Association had received reports from 244 credit unions that operate strudent-run branches in 908 elementary, middle, and high schools in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The FDIC advisory meeting is open to the public at the FDIC headquarters building at 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.


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