Fringe Financial Institutions, The Unbanked, and the Precariously Banked: Survey Results from Prince George, B.C.
Despite the fact that, with only basic identification, all Canadians have the legal right to open a bank account, there has been an explosive growth in fringe financial institutions (FFIs) over the past decade or so which offer financial services such as cheque cashing, payday loans, and income tax refund anticipation loans. Our survey results indicate that the characteristics of the FFI users in Prince George match those of national surveys in being low income individuals with low levels of asset ownership. The FFI users are also predominantly male in line with national survey results although women are also significant FFI clients. In contrast to national survey results, however, we find a higher age cohort in our survey.