News Release 2000-77 | September 28, 2000

Comptroller Promotes Leadership Role for National Banks in Areas Lacking Adequate Access to Financial Services

WASHINGTON—The Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke, Jr. today encouraged national banks to take a leadership role in bringing retail financial services to underserved areas.

"Households that do not have access to a bank are being shortchanged in their ability to accumulate wealth, lower transaction costs, and secure access to credit," wrote Mr. Hawke in the lead article of the OCC's fall community affairs newsletter released today.

The fall edition, which focuses on individuals who lack access to bank services, also contains articles by Marva Williams of The Woodstock Institute on community-bank partnerships; Brian Grossman of the Council for Economic Development on Individual Development Accounts (IDAs); Gail Snowden of FleetBoston Financial on developing an urban retail banking strategy; and Jose Riera of Banco Popular on providing financial services to the unbanked.

The newsletter, Community Developments, allows government, private-sector, and other professionals to highlight new developments in community affairs and to further public dialog on key emerging issues.

"Community Developments seeks to provide banks examples of successful products targeting the needs of low-and moderate-income consumers as well as replicable community development lending and investment models," said Anna Alvarez Boyd, Deputy Comptroller for Community Affairs. "Having this newsletter available on the OCC Website will make it easier for bankers to share important information with others in their institution or the community."

The spring issue of Community Developments, which focused on multifamily housing lending and investment opportunities, as well as previous issues of the newsletter, are also available on the OCC Website.

The newsletter can quickly be accessed by selecting "Community Affairs" on the OCC website home page,, and selecting "Publications and Resource Materials."

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