Access to banking and financial services is essential to economic mobility and opportunity for all Americans. While most American adults are fully banked, barriers to inclusion in banking and financial services disproportionally harm underrepresented and low-income communities:
• Black and Hispanic Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to be unbanked or underbanked. Similarly, families at the bottom of the income distribution are more than six times as likely as families at the top of the distribution to be among the unbanked or underbanked.
• Underrepresented and low-income Americans are more likely than their white and more affluent counterparts to have no usable credit score or to be credit invisible.
• The unbanked, underbanked and those with no credit record are forced to rely on costly alternatives that widen existing income and wealth disparities.
• These disparities not only limit the economic participation and financial integration of these underserved Americans, but also limit economic opportunity for all.
• While innovations in financial technology have led to improved equity in some areas, more data and novel algorithms have failed to eliminate discrimination in lending.
• New digital assets in the decentralized finance sector pose serious risks to consumers who need more protection from regulators.