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FiSCA Urges FDIC Committee on Economic Inclusion To Partner Banks & Financial Service Centers

FiSCA Urges FDIC To Create Partnerships Between Banks and FSCs To Better Serve Unbanked Americans. FSC Industry Serves 30 Million Americans Annually - Can Act As Crucial Conduit To Offering A Broader Array Of Financial Services

 
PRLog - Dec. 16, 2012 - (Washington, D.C., December 14, 2012) –  Financial Service Centers of America (FiSCA) today urged the FDIC and its Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN) to partner with the financial services centers industry as it seeks ways for banks to better serve underbanked Americans. This call to action comes as ComE-IN is meeting to discuss the results of its 2011 survey of banks’ efforts to serve the unbanked and underbanked. The survey finds that the majority of banks still do not provide offerings for unbanked and underbanked consumers.  Only 4 out of 10 banks have developed specialized products and services to meet the needs of this population.

“When exploring ways to provide access to safe and affordable financial services, FDIC needs to acknowledge and embrace all the resources available to address the challenge,” explained Joseph M. Doyle, Chairman of FiSCA. “Banks certainly play a crucial role; however, they are not the sole resource available.”

According to the FDIC, 1 in 12 households in the nation, or nearly 10 million in total, are unbanked. One in five households, or 24 million households, are underbanked.  One-quarter of U.S. households have used at least one alternative financial service product in the last year, and almost one in ten households have used two or more in that same timeframe.1    However, most banks offer such services—check-cashing, money orders and remittances—for existing accountholders only.2    At financial service centers (FSCs) all consumers can access these services, often at a fraction of the cost that banks charge.

“For millions of low- to moderate-income Americans financial service centers are the provider of choice,” said Doyle. “Our industry offers the array of services needed coupled with the instant liquidity and access they demand and complete transparency. There are no hidden fees. Perhaps most importantly, our customers understand our value proposition and with that understanding comes trust. Therefore, financial service centers can play a crucial role in meeting ComE-IN’s mandate.”

As a practical matter, banks have a minimal presence in many urban and rural communities across the country. Even in communities where banks are prevalent, FSCs still have a sizable presence. In addition, the FSC industry also enjoys a tremendous level of customer satisfaction, with 95% of respondents in a national customer satisfaction poll rating the value of services provided from “good” to “excellent”. As such, the industry is ideally positioned to serve the millions of Americans who use financial service centers either instead of or in addition to traditional financial institutions.

“Because of the natural symmetries that could exist between banks, credit unions and FSCs, FiSCA aggressively reached out to the ComE-IN when it was first established, urging it to include the industry as a committee member,” continued Doyle. “Further, we urged a greater partnership between the two segments of the financial services industry. Unfortunately, to date, that partnership has failed to materialize, but there is still time to establish it.”

FiSCA’s October 2007 presentation to the committee can be accessed on its website, www.FiSCA.org.

1 2011 FDIC National Survey of Banks' Efforts to Serve the Unbanked and Underbanked
2 2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households  

About FiSCA
FiSCA, founded in 1987, is the national trade association for more than 6,500 individual financial service centers across the United States. FiSCA members provide a wide variety of financial services and products to their communities, including check cashing, money orders, money transfers, and electronic bill payment services, automatic teller machine access, government benefit and payroll payments, small dollar short-term loans, electronic tax preparation, prepaid debit cards, deposit acceptance services, public transportation fare and token sales, motor vehicle license plate and title distribution, postage stamp sales and numerous other services. For more information, please visit www.fisca.org.

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Source:Financial Service Centers of America
Country:United States
Industry:Banking, Consumer
Tags:Economic Inclusion, unbanked, underbanked, Banks, fdic
Shortcut:prlog.org/12043595
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