Governor Pritzker Signs Bill To Give Consumers Better Banking Options

Craig Dellimore
August 20, 2019 - 11:56 am
Governor J.B. Pritzker

Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor Pritzker has signed a new law aimed at giving consumers better options than the predatory lenders and others who sometimes prey on them.

The new law, called "Bank On Illinois" allows the state comptroller’s office to work with banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to offer low interest loans and bank accounts with no or low maintenance fees and minimum deposits.

"We are going to be taking this, not just via a website portal, but actually directly into communities that we believe and we know to be under-served when it comes to their banking products, but we will also be collaborating directly with other community partners in getting the word out," said State Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

The numbers show that one out of five Illinois households do not use banks, but rely on things like check cashing places that charge fees and payday lenders with sky-high interest rates. Mendoza and the Governor want them to have better choices.

Governor Pritzker was asked why the state doesn’t just crack down on predatory lenders.

"Well we certainly work on those who are easy for us to identify, some are less easy to identify - those that are charging very high interest rates, but not illegal interest rates," he said. 

Similar programs are offered in other cities, but Illinois is the first state to do so.