A new report from the think tank New America finds that basic banking services such as opening and maintaining a checking account can cost substantially more if you are black or Latino. For instance, community banks in predominantly black neighborhoods require an average minimum opening deposit of about $80, compared with about $68 in white neighborhoods, according to the report. And whereas a minimum balance of $625.50 is required to avoid checking account fees in majority white neighborhoods, a balance of $748.80 is required in majority Latinx neighborhoods and $870.50 in majority black neighborhoods. The report also found that discretionary banking practices amplify the racialized costs of banking, and evidence of racial bias among tellers means that checking account costs and fees depend on who consumers talk to at the bank.
The full report can be accessed here.