At a a recent hearing, members of the NYC Banking Commission heard from advocates who described redlining, predatory and discriminatory lending practices, and substantial investments in the fossil fuel industry by major banks applying to hold tens of millions of city dollars. Yet the commission promptly approved all of the nearly 30 banks that applied.
A bill that would require high school students across the state to take a personal finance course has been introduced a number of times in the Albany legislature dating back to 2009, but has yet to pass. “This is something that every kid kind of needs to do, and we are kind of thrown into doing it on our own time, without any guidance,” said Anisha Singhal, a senior at Stuyvesant High School who’s pushing more schools to teach financial skills.
‘New Yorkers should move towards expanding credit unions, as a tool for welfare and social relief, because they are a far better alternative to large banks, for poor and working people. ‘
Yuh-Line Niou and Maureen Genna |
‘New York needs bold solutions like the NYS CDFI Fund to address deeply entrenched inequities in our financial system and economy at large. The governor and legislature must act now.’
It’s not the first time the city has tried to hold financial backers responsible for poor conditions and the loss of affordable housing, but advocates are encouraged by at least one bank’s early response.
The article “Why are so Many New Yorkers Still Under-Banked” (01/06/17) should have been titled “How to Disseminate Misinformation about an Entire Industry and Get Away With It.” The article has an aura of accuracy, without understanding the nuances of the subject, the financial climate pertaining to the issue, and the consumers that the article claims to speak on behalf of. It is terribly wrong and misguided to lump and compare pawnshops, which are businesses with very little regulatory oversight (and which offer loans against items of value), with the check cashing industry – which has been since its statutory creation in 1944 one of the most highly regulated financial industries in the State of New York. In fact, New York’s check cashing industry is not involved in loans. Where pawnbrokers are allowed to charge monthly rates of up to 25% and an additional service charge of 20%, check cashers are only allowed to charge a strictly enforced fee of 2.01% per check cashing transaction, as dictated by law.