October 1, 2015 — Report

Access to safe and affordable financial products and services is a cornerstone of financial empowerment: this access allows consumers to secure their income and build and grow their assets. However, there are almost 17 million unbanked Americans who do not have bank accounts. These consumers incur higher costs — estimated at up to $40,000 over a lifetime — by using alternative financial services, sometimes predatory, to handle their routine transactions, and often are not able to take advantage of savings and asset building opportunities.