Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)

Article Title

Banking for the Unbanked


An estimated 9.5 percent of U.S. households do not have a bank account, and the consequences can be severe: high costs for basic financial services: inability to create a financial cushion for emergencies and life events; and lack of access to mainstream source of credit.

The following essay is based on testimony delivered before the Senate Commitee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in May. Footnotes have been omitted. "Nearly 10 million households - 9.5 percent of U.S. households - lack the most basic financial tool, a bank account," according to the author. "Twenty-two percent of low-income families - over 8.4 million families earning under $25,000 per year - do not have either a checking or savings account."