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January 17th, 2021

Congressman Ritchie Torres, NYC Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang Call on Big Banks to Provide Access to Low-Income and Immigrant Communities

**RELEASE** January 17th, 2021

New York, NYToday, Democratic Candidate for Mayor of NYC Andrew Yang joined with Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres to call on big banks to allow low-income and immigrant communities to open bank accounts using IDNYC which would dramatically reduce the number of unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers.

New York City has nearly one million residents who are unbanked or underbanked, meaning they heavily rely on services like check cashing, prepaid cards, or money transfers. These services are antiquated and overpriced, often costing unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers up to $3,000 in fees a year.

Andrew Yang pledged that as Mayor, he will use the city’s depositing power as leverage to hold banks accountable to our immigrant communities, refusing to bank with financial institutions that do not let undocumented New Yorkers open a bank account. He also promised to expand IDNYC to serve as a gateway to myriad city services like cash relief and access to a People’s Bank of New York City.

Said Andrew Yang, Democratic Candidate for Mayor of NYC, “It is outrageous that in the financial capital of the world, nearly a million immigrant and low-income New Yorkers are locked out of the banking system. As Mayor, I promise to use the tens of billions of dollars the city deposits with big banks every year as leverage to demand those banks open their doors to the immigrants, often undocumented, who make New York, New York. As we build towards the vision of a People’s Bank of New York City, we must guarantee that no New Yorker gets forgotten today. In a Yang administration, we will make sure that every New Yorker, regardless of immigration status, is reminded that they belong in our neighborhoods, as part of our economy, and as the very fabric of what makes our city great.

Said Congressman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, “To achieve our vision of New York as an inclusive and equitable city, we need to ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of income or immigration status, have access to the financial services they need to thrive. We need to build on the staggering success of the IDNYC program, which has enabled immigrants especially to develop a deeper sense of belonging as New Yorkers. Yet the biggest banks in New York City continue to refuse to accept IDNYC as a valid source of identification, excluding the most vulnerable – the poor and the undocumented – from our financial system. We need to put money in the pockets of poor people rather than letting predatory financial institutions take it away from them. There is no place for financial discrimination in the financial capital of the world.”

Related Policy Topics

Andrew Yang receives an endorsement for Mayor of NYC from U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres
Andrew Yang speaks with Ritchie Torres


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