New York state officials are espousing the benefits of recently enacted legislation that seeks to bolster consumer protections while addressing the state’s financial services system inequities.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature on S.1684/A.8293 initiates the process of directing the state’s Department of Financial Services to conduct a study of underbanked communities and households and make recommendations to improve access to financial services.
“This legislation is the first step in remedying the lack of safe and accessible banking services that contribute to the inequities in our state’s financial system,” Hochul said. “Dangerous mail-loan checks and banking deserts prevent already underserved New Yorkers from safely accessing the services they need to build wealth and pursue economic prosperity. I am proud to sign this legislation into law that will boost consumer protections for New Yorkers and explore ways to bring these much-needed resources to consumers.”
While access to safe and affordable financial services is necessary to build financial stability, too many New Yorkers are either unbanked – with no access to a checking or savings account or underbanked and use alternative and riskier financial services that include payday loans.
“Protecting consumers and delivering data-driven policies to help implement a more equitable and resilient financial sector in New York is a top priority for DFS,” Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris said. “We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders in order to shed light on the current state of financial services in underserved areas and propose collaborative recommendations to increase access to financial services for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”