The initiative will especially aim to help Black consumers, Hispanics and Native Americans. There’s FDIC data showing that 12.2 percent of Hispanic households, 13.8 percent of Black households and 16.3 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native households don’t have access to a U.S. checking account.
That’s compared with 2.5 percent of white households and 1.7 percent of Asian households.
The less advantaged groups have been known to account for over half of the U.S.’s unbanked households, and the new initiative will aid them in accessing better access to low-cost banking.
The bank has also set about redesigning around 100 branches in communities, which the release said will help in the wake of several instances, including better one-on-one consultations, more digital bank access and financial health seminars for those in need.
With the new initiative, Wells Fargo plans to focus on bolstering access to financial education and advice, making more inroads to affordable products, and launching a National Unbanked Advisory Taskforce, according to the report.
Through those initiatives, the bank wants to make more pronounced relationships through Black-owned Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), which Reuters reported are the most likely to serve in underserved communities.
The initiative will also allow customers to withdraw cash from Wells Fargo ATMs without racking up fees.
Recently the Atlanta Fed formed a new committee to examine the ways the unbanked and underbanked can be more readily integrated with the emerging new digital economy.
The committee will focus on a partnership between public and private partnerships and will focus on allowing payments for everyone, including on new innovations like digital wallets, mobile pay and person-to-person payment apps, which offer new measures of convenience that could help people.