CFED Scorecard

CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Statewide Financial Access Programs Reports & Graphics Policy Brief

Overview

States with Statewide Financial Access Programs

Checking and savings accounts are the basic building blocks for participating in the financial mainstream. Yet, millions of Americans do not have or fully use a basic bank account. States can create programs to promote access to affordable and appropriate financial products for underserved customers. One successful strategy for encouraging financial institutions to offer financial products that meet the needs of low-income customers is through local or state “Bank On” programs. Bank On programs are city- or state-led coalitions that bring together local or state government, financial institutions, and community organizations to help increase access to safe and affordable financial products for unbanked and underbanked individuals. Bank On initiatives work with financial institutions to design free or low-cost bank accounts specifically targeted at underserved populations. In addition, some Bank On programs partner with nonprofits and other organizations to offer financial education with the account.

What States Can Do

States can create a statewide financial access program to provide consistency and create economies of scale. Creation of a state-level financial access or Bank On program is usually led by a policymaker, such as a governor or treasurer, who uses his or her authority to create the program within a state agency. This agency is responsible for managing and coordinating the statewide financial access or Bank On efforts.

Strength of State Policies: Statewide Financial Access Programs

Is there a statewide program to expand financial
product access to underserved customers? 1
StateStatewide financial
access program?
Program name
Alabama     
Alaska     
Arizona     
Arkansas     
California    Bank On California 
Colorado     
Connecticut    Bank On Connecticut 
Delaware     
District of Columbia    Bank On DC 
Florida    Bank On Florida 
Georgia     
Hawaii     
Idaho     
Illinois    Bank On Illinois 
Indiana    Bank On Indiana 
Iowa     
Kansas     
Kentucky     
Louisiana     
Maine     
Maryland     
Massachusetts     
Michigan     
Minnesota     
Mississippi     
Missouri     
Montana     
Nebraska     
Nevada     
New Hampshire     
New Jersey     
New Mexico     
New York     
North Carolina     
North Dakota     
Ohio     
Oklahoma     
Oregon     
Pennsylvania     
Rhode Island     
South Carolina     
South Dakota     
Tennessee     
Texas     
Utah 2    
Vermont     
Virginia     
Washington    Bank On Washington 
West Virginia     
Wisconsin     
Wyoming     

Notes on the Data

1. Data from joinbankon.org. Supplementary information provided through personal correspondence with Louisa Quittman with the Office of Consumer Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury and Spike Kiel with the FDIC in July 2013.

2. Bank On Utah is in the planning stages.

What States Have Done

The City of San Francisco’s Office of the Treasurer launched the first local Bank On initiative in 2006, closely followed by the cities of Seattle and Evansville in 2008. San Francisco’s success sparked a movement of Bank On initiatives across the country. The Bank On model is now being replicated in approximately 70 cities, regions and states nationwide.

At the state level, California launched the first state Bank On initiative in 2008. In total, 6 states – California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Washington – and the District of Columbia have statewide Bank On programs.

Resources

Organizations and Experts:

Guides, Briefs and Reports:

Acknowledgements

CFED thanks Louisa Quittman of the Office of Consumer Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury and Spike Kiel of the FDIC for their input and expertise on this policy issue. 

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