A new program at Paducah Bank offers a workable relationship for a growing population of “unbanked” citizens.
In a time when most of us are utilizing the “on-line this” and the “app for that,” a new study is showing that an amazing number of Americans have opted out of the traditional utilization of banks for managing their everyday finances.
A nation-wide research study found that 821,000 households left the banking systems around the country from 2009 to 2011, and the so-called unbanked population grew to 8.2 percent of U.S. households.
This means that roughly 17 million adults are without a checking or savings account. Another 51 million adults have a bank account, but use pawnshops, payday lenders, or rent-to-own services, says the FDIC.
The study also found that one in four households, or more than 25 percent, either had one or no bank account. A third of these said they do not have enough money to open and fund an account. Minorities, the unemployed, young people, and lower-income households are least likely to have accounts.
Consequently, Paducah Bank has created a new program called Open Door, designed to assist this particular population to create a banking experience that works for them and helps them understand the benefits and the usefulness of establishing a reliable credit history.
“We believe it is our responsibility to create a program that our customers can trust, and that allows them to build a credit reputation and works in a way that helps them to have economic mobility,” said Wally Bateman, President of Paducah Bank. “Without access to the safety and security of a banking relationship,” Bateman adds, “these people are often susceptible to abusive practices at non-bank institutions and are likely to remain trapped in a vicious cycle of financial strain.”