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NR 2005-25
Contact: Dean DeBuck
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OCC Publishes Edition of Insights Addressing Individual Development Accounts

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today published an edition of Community Developments Insights addressing Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs. “Individual Development Accounts: An Asset Building Product for Lower-Income Consumers” describes how banks can use these matched savings programs as a tool to encourage lower-income persons and families to save money and thus build assets for particular financial goals. Through these programs, accountholders generally make monthly deposits that are matched by funds from private, government, or nonprofit sources.

“IDAs are one of the initiatives offered through partnerships of financial institutions and nonprofit organizations that help consumers build assets and improve financial literacy skills,” said Julie L. Williams, Acting Comptroller of the Currency. “Many banks have also found that IDAs help attract new customers and help expose these customers to a broad array of financial products and services.”

Banks involved in IDA programs typically participate for one or more of four main reasons: market expansion/customer development, positive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration, maintenance of relationships with nonprofit organizations, and a commitment to community development.

This edition of Community Developments Insights also describes the partnerships behind IDAs and addresses some of the barriers that have constrained their growth. Banks interested in learning more about offering IDAs can use this edition’s Implementation Guide to obtain information on program design and funding sources.

This Insights can be found on the news release page of the OCC Web site by going to www.occ.gov and clicking on the news release button on the left side of the page.

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