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Money Smart News - January 2004

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FDIC Conference: Tapping the Unbanked Market

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Tapping Into the Unbanked Market
Luncheon Speakers: Congressman Michael G. Oxley and Kelvin Boston

Chairman Powell then introduced the featured luncheon speaker, Congressman Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, Chairman, Committee on Financial Services.

"Fully three percent of our population has no chance to achieve the American dream, because they're not in the financial mainstream," Oxley told the audience. "I've heard again and again about the need for basic financial education and the need to encourage people to understand credit and how it can work for them. Getting the unbanked into the system makes good business sense, and the FDIC is leading the way-with Money Smart, and with gatherings like this one. My congratulations to them for the foresight and leadership to sponsor such a forum at this time."

Kelvin Boston, the host of the popular "Money Wise" program on the Public Broadcasting Service, spoke next. He commented on a basic conflict between industry and community representatives. "Some care only for profits and not people," he said. "Others care only for people and disregard profits. But in truth it takes both. We must respect both the poor and the need to be successful in the business of helping the poor. Financial institutions must be respected in their need to make money and financial institutions need to respect the humanity of the unbanked. Poor people want to be wealthier, too, just the same as banks. We poor people don't mind helping you banks make money, but we want to make money, too."

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Last Updated 01/15/2004 MoneySmartNews@fdic.gov