A banking program that has allowed D.C. residents to attain bank accounts and save thousands of dollars in check-cashing fees and other costs is being lauded for its success by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration.

The Bank-on-DC program, which launched in 2010, consists of a partnership between the D.C. government, financial institutions such as Industrial Bank, and nonprofit organizations, according to the city government.

“Currently, 7.1 million Americans do not have a bank account and are completely unbanked and credit invisible,” said Karima Woods, commissioner of D.C.’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. “They often pay higher fees for cashing checks and have no means to secure a loan from a financial institution. These are the people who also fall prey to predatory personal loans with abusive terms.”

Bank on DC, which also provides “second chance accounts” for people with ChexSystems histories, strives to raise awareness among low- to moderate-income residents about the benefits of account ownership.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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