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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Revision of Information Collection; National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

ACTION:

Notice and request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The FDIC, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the survey collection instrument for its fourth National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households (Household Survey), currently approved under OMB Control No. 3064-0167, scheduled to be conducted in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to its June 2015 Current Population Survey (CPS). The survey seeks to estimate the proportions of unbanked and underbanked households in the U.S. and to identify the factors that inhibit the participation of these households in the mainstream banking system, and opportunities to expand the use of banking services among underserved consumers. The results of these ongoing surveys will help policymakers and bankers understand the issues and challenges underserved households perceive when deciding how and where to conduct financial transactions.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before March 23, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by any of the following methods. All comments should refer to “National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households”:

  • http://www.FDIC.gov/​regulations/​laws/​federal/​.
  • Email: comments@fdic.gov. Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Gary Kuiper Counsel, (202-898-3877), MB-3074, or John Popeo, Counsel, (202.898.6923), MB-3007, Legal Division, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.
  • Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Interested members of the public may obtain a copy of the survey and related instructions by clicking on the link for the National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households on the following Web page: http://www.fdic.gov/​regulations/​laws/​federal/​. Interested members of the public may also obtain additional information about the collection, including a paper copy of the proposed collection and related instructions, without charge, by contacting Gary Kuiper or John Popeo, at the address or telephone number identified above.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FDIC is considering possible revisions to the following collection of information:

Title: National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households.

OMB Number: 3064-0167.

Frequency of Response: Once.

Affected Public: U.S. Households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 50,000.

Average Time per Response: 15 minutes (0.25 hours) per respondent.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 0.25 hours × 50,000 respondents = 12,500 hours.

General Description of Collection

The FDIC recognizes that public confidence in the banking system is strengthened when banks effectively Start Printed Page 3235serve the broadest possible set of consumers. As a result, the agency is committed to increasing the participation of unbanked and underbanked households in the financial mainstream by ensuring that all Americans have access to safe, secure, and affordable banking services. The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is one contribution to this end.

The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is also a key component of the FDIC's efforts to comply with a Congressional mandate contained in section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Conforming Amendments Act of 2005 (Reform Act) (Pub. L. 109-173), which calls for the FDIC to conduct ongoing surveys “on efforts by insured depository institutions to bring those individuals and families who have rarely, if ever, held a checking account, a savings account or other type of transaction or check cashing account at an insured depository institution (hereafter in this section referred to as the `unbanked') into the conventional finance system.” Section 7 further instructs the FDIC to consider several factors in its conduct of the surveys, including: (1) “What cultural, language and identification issues as well as transaction costs appear to most prevent `unbanked' individuals from establishing conventional accounts”; and (2) “what is a fair estimate of the size and worth of the “unbanked” market in the United States.” The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is designed to address these factors and provide a factual basis on the proportions of unbanked households. Such a factual basis is necessary to adequately assess banks' efforts to serve these households as required by the statutory mandate.

To obtain this information, the FDIC partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau, which administered the Household Survey supplement (“FDIC Supplement”) to households that participated in the January 2009, June 2011, and June 2013 CPS. The results of these surveys were released to the public in December 2009, September 2012, and October 2014, respectively.

The FDIC supplement has yielded nationally-representative data, not otherwise available, on the size and characteristics of the population that is unbanked or underbanked, the use by this population of alternative financial services, and the reasons why some households do not make greater use of mainstream banking services. The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is the only population-representative survey conducted at the national level that provides state-level estimates of the size and characteristics of unbanked and underbanked households for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. An executive summary of the results of the first three Household Surveys, the full reports, and the survey instruments can be accessed through the following link: http://www.economicinclusion.gov/​surveys/​.

Consistent with the statutory mandate to conduct the surveys on an ongoing basis, the FDIC already has in place arrangements for conducting the fourth Household Survey as a supplement to the June 2015 CPS. However, prior to finalizing the next survey instrument, the FDIC seeks to solicit public comment on whether changes to the existing instrument are desirable and, if so, to what extent. It should be noted that, as a supplement of the CPS survey, the Household Survey needs to adhere to specific parameters that include limits in the length and sensitivity of the questions that can be asked of CPS respondents. Specifically, there is a strict limitation on the number of questions permitted and the average time required to complete the survey (15 minutes on average).

Request for Comment

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The FDIC will consider all comments to determine the extent to which the information collection should be modified prior to submission to OMB for review and approval. After the comment period closes, comments will be summarized and/or included in the FDIC's request to OMB for approval of the collection. All comments will become a matter of public record.

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Dated at Washington, DC, this 16th day of January, 2015.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Robert E. Feldman,

Executive Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2015-00982 Filed 1-21-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6714-01-P