Bank On National Account Standards ensure that all residents have access to a safe, affordable bank or credit union account.
These standards, put out every two years by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, serve as the basis for free and independent certification evaluation. They address basic account costs, functionality, and consumer protection.
Benefits of Certification
- Community opportunities
- Sustainable consumer base
- Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit
Why is this certification in place?
FDIC research shows that many consumers lack a basic transaction account due to inability to meet the minimum balance, distrust of financial institutions, high or unpredictable fees, or identification, credit or banking history problems.
Many Americans are driven to use expensive alternative financial services, including check cashers, payday lenders, and pawn shops that charge high fees for financial services that fail to help people get ahead. Without a checking account, families wind up paying too much for basic financial transactions and are hard pressed to build savings and assets.
- Close to 7% of U.S. households (approximately 14 million adults) are “unbanked,” without a checking or savings account
- Almost 20% of U.S. households (approximately 50 million adults) are underbanked, meaning they still use some fringe financial services
- Nearly 37% of unbanked and 45% of underbanked households earn less than $30,000 per year
- Nationally, more than half of black households and 46% of Hispanic households are unbanked or underbanked, compared to less than 20% of white households