“The check cashing industry has done a very good job of being extremely convenient, in terms of the location of their stores, their hours, [and their] transaction-based type of product line,” says Wright. “You pay a fee, but the customer has the certainty that that is the only fee they are paying. There are some good things and some challenging things about both sectors.”
The FDIC surveyed 54,000 households in January 2009, and about 47,000 (86%) participated in the supplement survey. The National Household survey on banking is first time such data is available at the national, state and large Metropolitan Statistical Area levels.
More than one-third (37.1%) of never-banked households, and 34.1% of households that were previously banked closed their account because they did not have enough money to need an account, according to the report.
“Our challenge is to make sure that banks have the appropriate range of products and services that meet the needs of all people, including the low-income communities and … find the intersections of products that are also cost effective for the banks,” says Sheila C. Bair, FDIC chairman, in a conference call.