The Unbanking of America

The Unbanking of America

How the New Middle Class Survives

Book - 2017
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What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. The Unbanking of America exposes the ways in which banks have quietly abandoned lower- and middle-class consumers in favor of servicing only the wealthiest. Today nearly half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck, as income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their monthly fees and high overdraft charges, take advantage of these fluctuations rather than help their customers manage them. Lisa Servon delivers provocative dispatches from inside a range of banking alternativesfrom predatory to responsibleas new players rush in to do what banks once did. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check-cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland, California, listening to the stories of the alternative bankers as well as their consumers. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs who are counting on a permanent unbanking of Americaand designing systems to transform how nonwealthy Americans can gain the access and agency to their own money that they, especially, need.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2017]
ISBN: 9780544602311
Branch Call Number: 332.1097 SERVO
Characteristics: xix, 250 pages ; 24 cm


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Jul 15, 2018

talks to the necessary place of check cashing venues versus banks, and how banks have become fee based instead of lending based profit centers.

DBRL_ReginaF Apr 24, 2018

Economics in the US is so complicated. I would love to see her update this now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is under attack. I have no doubt that solutions will eventually be found but how long will it take and what will it look like?

Apr 16, 2017

The book was obviously finished before the elections so she has great hope for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She doesn't point any fingers but also doesn't mince words about how far our system is from fairly and efficiently serving our financial needs.


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