1 In 10 New Yorkers Doesn’t Have A Bank Account

Recently, I dumped conventional banking (high fees) and went fully to a Fidelity Cash Management Account (no fees, better interest rates, etc.), where I can do all my usual online bill-paying, etc.

But this ain’t what’s going on in NYC.

The numbers of unbanked, meanwhile, are expanding in New York’s inner city with its large concentration of immigrants. The numbers are especially high among minorities and low-income households, according to Flores. That’s part of a broader national phenomenon highlighted in the latest America Saves survey, which showed that 13 percent of its savers were now keeping their money in a “safe place” at home, and earning no interest.

What driving this behavior among the vibrant-types?

“Personally, I’ve talked to a number of individuals who were unbanked because they were concerned their public assistance would go away if they opened an account,” said Flores. “They had misconceptions that if they had an account, it would impact their public assistance.”

And here’s a telling difference:

In a study last year, New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs showed stunning disparities among the unbanked in the city’s immigrant communities. Only 5 percent of Chinese respondents in the US less than six years on average were still unbanked. Yet Ecuadorian and Mexican respondents, in the US nearly 12 years and 10 years on average, respectively, were hugely unbanked at 35 percent and 57 percent.

So… we have:

  • Chinese immigrants = 5%
  • Mexican immigrants = 57%

That pretty much says it all.

The article is titled “1 In 10 New Yorkers Doesn’t Have A Bank Account”…. but what would the ratio be if the title was instead “X in 10 Hispanic New Yorkers Doesn’t Have A Bank Account” or, better yet, “X in 10 Mexican New Yorkers Doesn’t Have A Bank Account”.


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