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Banker Resource Center

Expanding Account Access Through Affordable Accounts

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Last Updated: June 7, 2022
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At a Glance Guide

By promoting affordable insured transaction and savings accounts, our vision is that all Americans have access to secure and affordable insured banking services and every bank offers affordable transaction and savings accounts.

We invite your bank to take action and be responsive to the needs of Low- and Moderate- Income populations. Bring them into the financial mainstream by offering affordable and sustainable accounts at your bank!

Long-Standing Commitment Did You Know?

FDIC has a long-standing commitment to promote affordable insured transaction and savings accounts.

FDIC’s Model Safe Accounts Pilot and Template, launched in 2011, identified transaction and savings accounts that were transparent, affordable and sustainable, easy-to-understand, backed by established consumer protections, and insured by the FDIC.

The 2019 FDIC Survey: How America Banks: Household Use of Banking and Financial Services indicates 7.1 million U.S. households were unbanked. Disparity in unbanked rates continues to remain higher among lower-income, minority, and younger households.

The data suggests many of these households do not see the banking system as interested in meeting their needs and are concerned that account fees are too high or unpredictable.

The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund’s Bank On National Account Standards follow the goals and include the core features of the FDIC Model Safe Account.

FDIC #GetBanked website provides multiple resources for unbanked consumers seeking to open an account and form a banking relationship.

  • Providing products and services for Low- and Moderate-Income consumers may receive positive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act. See the Interagency Q&A Regarding Community Reinvestment.
  • Affordable and sustainable accounts are easier than ever to offer. Contact your core technology service provider to discuss how you may be able to get started.
  • More than 3.8 million open and active certified Bank On accounts were reported by seventeen participating insured financial institutions in 2020. These accounts represent about 80% of U.S. ZIP codes, and 82% of these accounts were opened in 2020 by customers who were new to the financial institution. See the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ research for additional information.
  • Offering an affordable and sustainable account might allow your bank to cultivate and grow successful customer relationships among populations with higher percentages of unbanked households.
  • There are many benefits of working with a local network that promotes economic inclusion, such as the FDIC’s Alliances for Economic Inclusion or Bank On Coalitions.

Questions? For inquiries regarding expanding account access, email: CommunityAffairs@FDIC.gov