Upcoming News Conference On the Fringe: Non-Traditional Banking in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG—For many low-income earners in Winnipeg, facing the reality of a limited income goes beyond stretching a dollar to make ends meet.

With traditional bank branches moving out of low-income neighbourhoods, fringe banking services like payday loan, rent-to-own, and pawnshops are fast becoming the “banking” service of choice. With easy terms, extended hours of operation, and locations throughout Winnipeg’s poorest neighbourhoods, fringe-banking services are flourishing, despite painfully high interest rates.

On Tuesday, October 14, members of Winnipeg’s media are invited to take in the release of a study that sought to listen to and hear the voices of those most affected by fringe banking.

The study, The Rise of Fringe Financial Services in Winnipeg’s North End: Client Experiences, Firm Legitimacy & Community-based Alternatives, takes on “a complicated situation,” says Jerry Buckland, a Menno Simons College researcher studying the dynamics of banking in Winnipeg’s North End, pointing to a catch-22 situation that faces many inner city residents. Using the nearby fringe-banking services may cost more but they are often more accessible in terms of location and hours of operation. Fringe bank clients also find they receive more respectful service than at mainstream banks. On the other hand, service fees often involve complex formulas and annualized interest rates range from 200 to 1000 percent. Moreover, unlike mainstream banks, fringe banks cannot provide clients a means to improving their credit and savings position.

Fringe Banking News Conference
When: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 at 10 a.m.
Where: North End Community Ministry
at 3rd Floor-470 Stella Avenue at Powers
( Refreshments will be provided .)

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For more information, please contact:
Katherine Unruh, Director of Communications, The University of Winnipeg
tel: 204.786.9872 cel: 204.782.3279

 

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