Precarious Banking in Prince George
This study on ‘precarious banking’ is being undertaken by Dr. Paul Bowles of the University of Northern British Columbia in collaboration with the Aboriginal Business and Community Development Centre (ABCDC).The purpose of the study is to understand the financial barriers faced by urban Aboriginal people and their use of urban financial institutions including banks, credit unions and payday lenders. The aim is to inform public policy on how best to meet the financial service needs of urban Aboriginal people.
- Aboriginal people have been identified as a priority group by federal policy initiatives designed to address financial literacy.
- This study revealed that financial literacy levels among Aboriginal people were higher than are often revealed in survey data
- Fringe Financial Institutions (FFIs), such as payday loan companies. were used primarily as a last resort or due to bank policies being in conflict with the participant’s work/life circumstances. FFIs were used for convenience and for their policies on personal identification as opposed to being used because the participants lacked financial literacy.
- Research identified the need for ‘financial literacy plus’ programs for Aboriginal people, the need to raise income levels though policy interventions, and have employers pay a living wage for waged employment.
Dr. Paul Bowles, University of British Columbia