CHICAGO–Illinois state treasurer candidate, Mike Frerichs, says he is concerned with banking deserts, an issue most prevalent in communities of color.
According to a 2011 report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the percent of Illinois communities with inadequate banking services grew from 2009 to 2011, from 20.5 percent to 25.3 percent. It is Black and Latino communities that are the most affected, with 51.1 percent of African Americans and 49.3 percent of Latinos having either no or little access to banks. Frerichs, who is a Democratic state senator and a former county auditor, said that this population is more likely to be targeted by predatory lenders.
On Oct. 15, he visited the South Side of Chicago, where he and State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-5), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7), Ald. Will Burns, State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26th) and community leaders held a press conference about this dire issue.
“If you look throughout the state, half of all Blacks and Latinos live in a banking desert, he told The Chicago Defender. Some banks will say that the nature of banking is changing and in light of the recession they had to make changes.”
He said if he’s elected, that’s an issue he will address by working closely with faith leaders, community leaders and organizations like the Citizen Action Illinois. His plan is to work groups such as the National Black Wall Street Chicago, whose mission is to advocate for economic develop in Black communities.
Bringing back more neighborhood banks is his goal.