Undermining social mobility
Since 2006, the number of bank branches has increased overall, but in areas of low income the number of banking centers has shrunk. In the last five years, over 10,000 banks branches have opened with only one out of every ten banks built in urban locations with high minority populations. Banks provide basic financial services, and without a neighborhood bank, those services can be hard to find. Online banking technology does little to alleviate the problem of not having a neighborhood bank, and residents are left having to pay higher fees for less reliable and transparent services.
Bank deserts are an invisible problem in Maryland. In many low-income communities, banks do not exist. As a result, these communities are exploited by unscrupulous financial institutions such as pay day lenders and check cashing outfits. This scarcity of banking options worsens the problem of poverty and adds a new barrier in the struggle to overcome it. Jon wants to find a solution to this problem and create economic opportunity and financial support these communities without adequate financial institutions.