|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||
CONTACT: Jesse Jacobs - 202-224-4524
|Thursday, April 25, 2002||
Craig Davis - 202-224-7391
Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), Chairman of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, announced that the full Committee will meet to examine the problems faced by the "unbanked" and solutions for bringing more Americans into the financial mainstream.
Approximately 10% of households in the United States are "unbanked" - households which do not have a bank account with an insured depository institution. "Unbanked" individuals, who predominantly come from low-income households, often must utilize high-cost services offered by fringe financial service providers in order to conduct routine transactions such as check cashing and bill payment. In addition, the "unbanked" have had a difficult time establishing traditional forms of credit, receiving bank loans, acquiring financial assets and saving for the future.
"This hearing will examine the plight of the 'unbanked' and the challenges faced by individuals lacking a relationship with an insured financial institution," said Sarbanes. "The Committee will also examine the role that policy makers, banks, non-profits, and others can and should play in bringing more Americans into the financial mainstream."
A central focus of the hearing will be a review of the Treasury Department's efforts to improve access to affordable and convenient banking accounts through its implementation of the "First Accounts Program." The Committee will also hear testimony about other efforts to make banking products more affordable and accessible.
The hearing will be held:
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2002
538 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
Scheduled to testify are: