The Inclusive Economy
New Resource: FDIC Model Safe Accounts Pilot Final Report
By Sean Luechtefeld on 05/30/2012 @ 11:30 AM
Last month, FDIC released the final report from its Model Safe Accounts Pilot, a one-year exploration into the costs and sustainability of lower-cost, electronic transaction and savings accounts. The final report is now available online and it’s an excellent read for anyone interested in financial access.
“Safe Accounts,” according to the report, have limited maintenance costs because they focus on electronic payments and do not come with paper checks. This isn’t only a win for the financial institutions offering the accounts, though; they prevent overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees, meaning that accountholders can save a great deal of money while still having easy access to their money. During the yearlong pilot, 662 transaction accounts and 2,883 savings accounts were opened.
The findings of the pilot suggest that among the over 3,500 Safe Accounts opened, retention rates were particularly high, especially when compared with other financial products. Further, individuals with transaction accounts maintained an average balance of $243, while average monthly balances for savings accounts varied according to account design. These findings and others lead FDIC to the conclusion that “opportunities exist for financial institutions to offer save, low-cost transaction and savings accounts to underserved and LMI consumers.”
Full data on participating institutions and account structure, along with more detailed findings, are available in the report, which is available for download here.