Synopses & Reviews
An urgent and incisive expose of our broken banking system why Americans are fleeing traditional banks in growing numbers
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 Americaexposes 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 volatilityhas 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 alternatives from predatory to responsible as 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 America anddesigning systems to transform how nonwealthy Americans can gain the access and agency to their own money that they, especially, need."
An urgent, absorbing expose why Americans are fleeingour broken banking system in growing numbers, and how alternatives are rushing in to do what banks once did
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.Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatilityhas doubled over the past thirty years.Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.
Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America s banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland.She looks closely at the workings of a tanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America bydesigning systems to creatively serve many of us. Banks were once essential pillars of our lives; now we can no longer count on them to do right by us.
"Required reading for fans of muckraking authors like Barbara Ehrenreich, this fascinating look at the future of money management insists that the'unbanked'are a sector deserving of respect and solid options." Publishers Weekly, starred review"