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Pew: Bank Fees No. 1 Reason Los Angeles Latinos Closed Bank Accounts Last Year

Pew: Bank Fees No. 1 Reason Los Angeles Latinos Closed Bank Accounts Last Year

The number of unbanked Los Angeles Latino families, those without checking or savings accounts, is rising and bank fees are the number one reason why they closed their accounts in 2010, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

In 2010, 13 percent of Latino families in Los Angeles closed bank accounts while only 8 percent opened new accounts, a the survey of predominately Hispanic, low-income households found.

“In today’s economy, where every penny counts, more needs to be done to bring low-income families into the financial mainstream,” said Susan Weinstock, project director at the Pew Health Group. “This data points to a real need for banks to better disclose their fees in a concise, easy-to-understand format.”

Fees are not the only banking barriers for Latinos.

Unbanked families are also finding it more difficult to come up with the minimum balance needed to open an account with 50 percent citing it as the primary reason for not opening an account which is up from 30 percent last year.

The report outlines several ways that banks can grow within the Hispanic market including improve the speed with which funds are made available, lower the minimum balance for opening an account and offer services that the working poor want at competitive prices.

Online: Pew Research Center.

Download the report: Slipping Behind: Low-Income Los Angeles Households Drift Further From the Financial Mainstream.

Figures from the report:

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    Jon

    Jon Byington manages the editorial and business operations for DosLives.com. Jon is also on Google +