New York State officials are embracing the benefits of recently enacted legislation that aims to strengthen consumer protections while addressing inequities in the state’s financial services system.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature on S.1684/A.8293 begins 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 addressing the lack of safe and accessible banking services that contribute to inequities in our state’s financial system,” Hochul said. “Unsafe postal 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 that will strengthen 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 – without access to a checking or savings account, or underbanked and using financial services riskier alternatives, including payday loans.
“Protecting consumers and implementing data-driven policies to help build a fairer and more resilient financial sector in New York City is a top priority for DFS,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris. “We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to shed light on the current state of financial services in underserved areas and to offer collaborative recommendations to increase access to financial services for the benefit of all New -Yorkers.”