Whitmer is working with Michigan banks to offer accounts with no overdraft, ATM or balance fees

Michigan residents without financial resources spend about $3,000 on bank charges each year.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Open Account Coalition (MOAC) announced a low-cost account available to Michigan residents who are unbanked or underbanked.

A 2019 Federal Reserve report found that 22% of American adults are either unbanked or underbanked. The 6% of unbanked Americans have no bank account and must rely on alternative financial products and services such as payday loans, check cashing services, money orders and pawnbrokers.

“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 continue to grow our economy,” said said Whitmer.

MOAC was created in March by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), the Michigan Bankers Association and the Michigan Credit Union League to promote availability and access to consumer financial accounts.

“Some consumers may not have an account at a bank or credit union because they fear there are hidden fees or terms they don’t understand,” said Anita Fox, director of the Michigan Insurance and Financial Services.

There are currently 20 certified MI open accounts in Michigan, with dozens more working toward certification, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“Michindiders deserve access to safe and secure financial services without paying an arm and a leg in hidden fees,” Whitmer said in a statement.

MI Open Accounts offer the following benefits:

  • 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)

For more information about the Michigan Open Account Coalition and a list of participating financial institutions, visit Michigan.gov/DIFSOpenAccount.

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