According to the International Trade Commission, by the end of 2018, the U.S. banking system had $17.9 trillion in assets and a net income of $236.8 billion – it services the largest economy in the world and is a bell-weather for broader global markets. And yet, today in the United States, many find themselves locked out of the traditional banking system, lacking access to banking and financial tools. And it isn’t just a U.S. problem, according to Visa, over 500 million people globally don’t have access to financial services – while even more individuals face institutionalized barriers to full participation on a daily basis.
In this research, we explore American perceptions and understanding of inequities in our financial system – and which organizations are responsible to solve for these inequities. Our data reveals the majority of Americans (73%) think inequities are a serious concern – and that financial institutions have created roadblocks that prevent certain populations from entering the financial system (66%). The research also outlines specific actions organizations can take to address inequities.
Introducing the fifth installment in Porter Novelli’s Focus research series: Porter Novelli Focus: Financial Equity.
Key Findings Include:
- 73% of Americans say that inequities in our financial system are a serious concern while 71% agree events of the past 18 months have made them more aware of inequities in our financial system
- 77% agree that not having equitable access to the financial system can negatively impact low-income individuals’ lives
- 66% believe financial institutions have created barriers that prevent individuals from entering the financial system while 72% say financial institutions have a responsibility to address inequality
- 58% consider a financial institution’s work to address financial inequities when deciding which bank to use while 68% would be more likely to keep their money in a financial institution if they knew it was working to address financial inequities
Eric Tang, Porter Novelli’s Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Canada, explains how this research is relevant across the private sector and regions.
“The pandemic has made individuals more aware of the inequality in our financial systems and most people think it’s a serious concern. Financial institutions globally should pay attention to our findings and act quickly because the public expect them to own their shared responsibility to address financial inequities.”