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Gov. Whitmer Announces MI Open Account Coalition to Increase Access to Financial Services for Unbanked and Underbanked Michiganders
May 04, 2022
Inadequate access to financial resources costs unbanked and underbanked people $3,000 a year, new accounts will save Michiganders money
This release was originally issued by Governor Whitmer's Office.
Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, DIFSfirstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, DIFScomplaints@michigan.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2022
LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Open Account Coalition (MOAC) launched a new program to help more Michiganders participate in the state’s growing economy. The MI Open Account program offers certified low-cost accounts from Michigan’s banks and credit unions, saving tens of thousands of Michiganders money by boosting access to financial services.
“Not having access to financial resources and tools costs unbanked and underbanked Michiganders an average of $3,000 a year in fees for check cashing, money orders, bill pay services, third-party debit cards, and more,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Michiganders deserve access to safe and secure financial services without paying an arm and a leg in hidden fees. MI Open Accounts are certified low- or no-cost bank or credit union accounts with no hidden fees, no overdraft fees, and little to no minimum deposit. These accounts also offer essential financial tools—a debit card, direct deposit, and online bill pay. The MI Open Account Coalition will help unbanked or underbanked Michiganders avoid unexpected costs, build credit, and pay for emergencies by putting more money in their pockets as we keep growing our economy.”
“Some consumers may not have an account at a bank or credit union because they worry that there might be hidden fees or terms that they do not understand,” said Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Anita Fox. “We’re pleased that Michigan’s banks and credit unions have joined with us to offer and promote low- and no-cost accounts and educate consumers about the availability and benefits of CFE-certified MI Open Accounts.”
The MOAC was formed in March by Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), the Michigan Bankers Association, and Michigan Credit Union League. Its mission is to encourage relationships between financial institutions and historically underserved communities, educate consumers about the importance of having a relationship with a financial institution, and promote the availability of, and access to, consumer financial accounts.
All MI Open Accounts are certified by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, and follow the CFE’s National Account Standards:
- No overdraft, account activation, closure, dormancy, inactivity, and low balance fees
- Limits on ATM fees (no fees in-network; $3 or less out-of-network)
- A limit on minimum opening deposits ($25 or less)
- A limit on monthly maintenance fees ($5 or less)
Currently, there are 20 certified MI Open Accounts in Michigan, with dozens more working toward certification. For more information on the Michigan Open Account Coalition and a list of participating financial institutions, visit Michigan.gov/DIFSOpenAccount.
Questions or concerns that cannot be resolved directly with financial institutions should be directed to DIFS at 877-999-6442 or visiting Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints to file a complaint.