The FDIC wants more people in Atlanta to open bank accounts.
The federal deposit insurance agency launched an awareness campaign Tuesday that aims to reach disproportionately Black and Hispanic unbanked populations in Atlanta and Houston with information about the benefits of using a bank account.
The initiative to reduce the number of unbanked households is an uncommon move by the agency and the focus fell on Atlanta because research found its racial disparities are particularly severe.
While the number of people who are unbanked has been on the decline over the last decade, the data shows the rate of households without a bank account is much higher for Black and Hispanic communities.
Nearly 14% of Black households and 12% of Hispanic households in the U.S. were unbanked in 2019, compared to just 2.5% of white households.
Managing finances without a bank account can be more expensive, requiring extra fees to cash checks.
This problem became more urgent during the pandemic as the federal government began to distribute relief funding to individuals.