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Aug 25 -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) invites comments to OMB by October 2, 2023 regarding a new information collection titled “CFPB National Age-Friendly Banking Survey.” [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on September 1.]

Older adults are increasingly an important customer base for banks and credit unions. In 2019, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) estimated that 96.7 percent of households led by older Americans had transaction and/or deposit accounts at either a bank or credit union. This survey has shown that older households have the highest banking rates of all age groups. This survey has also shown that older adults’ share of all depositors increased between 2015 and 2019 from 25 percent to 27 percent. Other studies have also shown that older adults account for a significant share of all deposits in banks and credit unions and on average, hold higher balances in their accounts than their younger counterparts.

Despite the implications of these demographic patterns and trends for the products and services offered by financial institutions, there are basic knowledge gaps regarding the experiences of older adults with banking and the quality of their relationships with banks and credit unions.  These include gaps in our knowledge of the importance, availability, and use of “age-friendly” features that:

-- offer older adults protections against the increasing threat of fraud, scams, and elder financial exploitation;
-- empower financial caregivers to help older adults manage their finances; and
-- improve accessibility of banking services such as making deposits and withdrawals.  
 
Similarly, there are gaps in knowledge regarding the experiences of older adults with access to quality customer service, affordable account features and banking fees, in-person and alternative banking options, ATMs and other services, and lending that fits the needs of older adults and their income sources, particularly as bank mergers, branch closures, and transition to digital/online services continue to increase. Lastly, there are gaps in knowledge regarding older adults’ awareness, understanding and preferences for banking features and services that are broadly promoted and targeted to older adults.

The data obtained through this survey will support the CFPB Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans’ work to:
 
-- develop goals for programs that provide seniors financial literacy;
-- identify best practices and effective methods, tools, technology and strategies to educate and counsel seniors about personal finance management;
-- coordinate consumer protection efforts of seniors with other Federal agencies and state regulators; and
-- work with community organizations, non-profit organizations, and other entities that are involved with educating or assisting seniors.
 
By collecting this survey data, the CFPB seeks to:
 
-- Enhance the understanding of older adults’ experiences with banking, including challenges and opportunities for adoption of age-friendly account features, and examine the quality of the relationship between older adults and their banks and credit unions.
-- Examine how banking experiences may vary as people age and for specific subpopulations of older adults that face unique challenges related to accessibility and quality of banking services, such as older adults living in rural communities, older adults of color, and the oldest segment of the population (75 and older).
-- Inform its age-friendly banking and financial inclusion initiatives and resources that are used by banks, lenders, other financial institutions, and other key stakeholders.
-- Establish and provide foundational data that can support consumer protection, financial inclusion, and age-friendly community efforts by CFPB and other federal agencies, state regulators and localities, and other entities that work with older adults.
 
Survey: 2,500 respondents. The survey will be hosted on NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC)’s AmeriSpeak panel, a probability-based panel which allows for both web and phone data collection methods.  

CFPB Information Collection Request: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202308-3170-002 Click View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-18349

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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