Public awareness push to promote financial inclusion among the unbanked
As part of its ongoing work to expand financial inclusion to unbanked individuals and families, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today announced it will expand its #GetBanked public awareness campaign into the Los Angeles, Dallas, and Detroit metropolitan areas.
The FDIC’s #GetBanked campaign is focused on areas where research finds that a significant number of Black and Hispanic households are unbanked. The goal of this targeted campaign is to encourage unbanked consumers to consider opening a checking account. Many banks offer a variety of accounts, including low-cost accounts. Last year, the FDIC launched this campaign in Atlanta and Houston.
Through a series of English- and Spanish-language digital, audio, and video advertisements, the FDIC hopes to reach unbanked consumers, particularly during the tax filing season, when they can benefit from early and direct deposit of their refund.
“This campaign is a vital part of our work to reach that last mile of the unbanked,” said FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams. “Having a basic checking account can be an important first step to becoming part of the financial fabric of this country.”
According to the FDIC’s How America Banks biennial survey, the average percentage of unbanked minority households is significantly higher than non-minority unbanked households:
- White: 2.5 percent
- Black: 13.8 percent
- Hispanic: 12.2 percent
The FDIC offers consumers a wealth of resources to help them choose the best account to meet their needs, including guidance on how they can find low-cost bank accounts. A comprehensive #GetBanked toolkit, including digital advertisements, audio/visual, and other resources, can be found at FDIC.gov/GetBanked and in Spanish at FDIC.gov/GetBanked-esp
Additional Background Information
The #GetBanked initiative began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform consumers about how to open a bank account online and to facilitate the safe and timely distribution of economic impact payments through direct deposit.
In early April 2021, the FDIC launched a public awareness campaign in two metropolitan areas, Atlanta and Houston, to provide information to consumers about the benefits of developing a relationship with a bank. As part of this pilot, FDIC ran streaming audio, digital display, mobile video ads, and streaming television ads in English and Spanish between early April and early July, 2021.
The FDIC’s efforts to expand access to affordable accounts dates back more than a decade. In 2010, the agency began to help identify transaction and savings accounts that were transparent, affordable, sustainable, and insured by the FDIC (i.e., Model Safe Accounts). Inspired by the Model Safe Account, the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund established the Bank On National Account Standards, which include accounts that have low and transparent costs and no overdraft fees. To date, the CFE Fund has certified more than 180 accounts—a number that tripled during the pandemic—and is moving to certify as many as 100 additional accounts. According to CFE, financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts currently comprise more than half of the national deposit market. The FDIC has supported CFE’s Bank On program by providing technical assistance and supporting collaborations between the CFE Fund, financial institutions, and community-based organizations that work together to expand account access.
Since its inception in spring 2020, there have been more than 1.4 million visits to the FDIC’s #GetBanked webpage. In turn, between October 2020 and June 2021, nearly 45 percent of visitors to Bank On’s COVID Banking website came from the FDIC’s #GetBanked webpage.