Who Has A Bank Account? Exploring The Effects Of Public Policy Over Time


The decade of the 1990s was a time of substantial public policy development relating to low-to-moderate income families. This paper explores factors affecting bank account ownership, with a special emphasis on the effects that public policies may have had in bringing low-to- moderate income families into the financial mainstream. Access to a basic transaction account is the entry for most consumers into the financial arena, leading to credit, savings, investment, and insurance products, thus enabling economic self-sufficiency. Data are from the 1989, 1992, 1995 and 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances. Results indicate that public policies may have made a significant difference in moving households into the financial mainstream.

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