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

It’s estimated $3,000 is spent on bank fees each year by financially disadvantaged Michiganians.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Open Account Coalition (MOAC) announced a low-cost account for Michigan residents who are unbanked or unbanked.

A Federal Reserve 2019 Report found that 22% of adult Americans are either unbanked or unbanked. The 6% of Americans who are unbanked are unbanked at all and have to rely on alternative financial products and services such as payday loans, check cashing services, money orders and pawn shops.

“The MI Open Account Coalition will help unbanked and underbanked Michiganders avoid unexpected expenses, build credit and pay for emergencies by putting more money in their pockets as we continue to grow our economy,” Whitmer said.

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

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

According to a press release from the governor’s office, there are currently 20 certified MI Open accounts in Michigan, and dozens more are working toward certification.

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

The MI Open Accounts offer the following advantages:

  • No overdraft, account activation, closure, dormancy, inactivity, and low balance fees
  • ATM fee limits (no on-network fees; $3 or less off-network)
  • A minimum opening deposit limit ($25 or less)
  • A cap 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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