Banking Department Publishes Retail Bank Services Survey
February 6, 2008
New York, N.Y.: The New York State Banking Department announced today the findings of the second survey of retail bank services offered throughout the state. The survey aims to make shopping for a new bank or comparing bank products and services an easier experience.
“Deciding which financial institution is best for you is not always easy. Banks offer many different products and services at a variety of prices and consumers need to be able to identify the products that are suitable for them,” Superintendent Richard H. Neiman said. “We have conducted this survey for the second time to ensure New Yorkers have the information necessary to make the right decision for their personal banking needs.”
The survey is posted on the Department’s Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us/csrbss.pdf. Individuals without Internet access can ask for a paper copy of the survey by calling the Department’s Consumer Helpline at 1-877-BANK-NYS.
While the analysis was conducted with a focus on assessing the availability and cost of financial services used frequently by the unbanked or immigrants, the survey results cover items that are of interest to the widest possible array of New Yorkers.
Banks were queried on the availability and cost of the following services: money orders, international and special remittances, bill payment at branches, and bi-lingual products and services. The banks were also asked to provide information on their customer identification programs (i.e. acceptance of consular and cedular cards), and the consumer reporting agency used by the bank to identify a new customer’s account credit history. Two-hundred-and-seven banks were sent the survey and 89 (43%) responded.
Information from the survey available on the Department’s Web site includes:
- Types of services available, including detailed information on money orders, remittances, bill payment, and bi-lingual tools;
- Fees charged to bank customers and non-customers for the use of these services;
- Services and products that are being developed but that are not yet available; and
- Common ID requirements for opening accounts.
The survey found the following rates of product availability among responding banks:
- 87% offer money orders, and 52% of those offer money orders to customers only;
- 39% offer international remittance services, and 11% of those offer remittance services to customers only;
- 20% accept cedular or consular cards as a form of identification;
- 43% accept individual taxpayer identification numbers as a form of identification;
- 94% offer multi-lingual staff, services, or literature;
- 21% offer check cashing services; and
- 93% do an account history or credit check on new customers.
Participating banks in alphabetical order:
TheNew York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are more than $1.8 trillion.
In addition to regulating banking institutions, the Banking Department is active in informing and educating all New Yorkers on banking matters. To contact the Banking Department, please call 1-877-BANK-NYS or visit our Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us.