More than 600 participants gathered at the Sixth Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum to discuss the future of the marketplace for the underbanked. The event drew the largest attendance in its six-year history, including bank and credit union executives, entrepreneurs, consumer advocates, government officials, nonprofit providers, investors, foundation officials, vendors, non-bank providers, and other leaders in the financial services industry. Held in New Orleans June 8–10, 2011, the Forum was presented by the Center for Financial Services Innovation and SourceMedia, the publisher of American Banker.
The Forum provides an occasion to discuss the ideas, technology, partnerships, and policies that are transforming the market. Once again, this year’s conference took place amid a troubled economic environment, where many consumers have been shaken by high unemployment and difficulty repaying debts. Distrust for financial institutions lingers. Given these realities, many of the Forum’s speakers and panelists emphasized the need for improving quality in financial services in order to rebuild trust with the consumer and reestablish a thriving marketplace.
CFSI’s President and CEO Jennifer Tescher opened the Forum by citing some compelling statistics that underscore this need: 86 percent of surveyed Americans have little or no confidence in financial institutions, and 51 percent say financial institutions do not share their values. The work to repair both the perception and reality of this situation will not come from one company or simply through regulatory action. Rather, building a high-quality financial services marketplace will be a shared effort for the entire industry.
Highlights from the Sixth Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum 2011
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