When the Affluent Become the Unbanked

September 12, 2012

Concern about those who have been left behind in receiving financial services (“the unbanked” and “the underbanked” ) have been popular topics of conversation amongst bankers and regulators over the past few years.

An important thread of these conversations has been the fact that in many cases, it is the customers who are leaving the traditional financial service providers behind, not the other way around.

I spend most of my time working with the “overbanked”– affluent families who have no shortage of financial services options, and as I have written previously, they too can find a variety of services to borrow, hold, invest and move money without the need for a traditional bank.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported on an affluent family who has “…no need, desire or want to go to a regular bank,”

Footnote to Financial Crisi: More People Shun the Bank – WSJ.com




  1. I previously asked “What does the average customer do to get “Good financial advice” from a bank when the bank has no duty other than Caveat Emptor? I have not seen a recommendation yet. Is there one?

  2. I run Plastyc, a company having developed a prepaid-based platform to provide web + mobile alternative to DDAs. There is indeed a part of the population which is “angry-banked” rather than un-banked or under-banked.
    Providing frictionless banking through PCs and cellphones may not work well when you seek face-to-face advice on mortgages or securities. But it does work very well for deposit, savings and payments services. This is what I call “everyday banking”.

    Everyday banking does not require branches and can certainly do away with bank Vice Presidents in thick-carpeted corner offices.

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