For many Bronx residents, check cashing stores are a lifeline — the stores are how they pay bills and also access money to financially provide for family in their native countries.
However, a proposed regulation by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) would decrease fees charged by check cashing institutions that could cause many to close, leaving thousands of Bronxites without a place to bank.
If adopted in its current form, it would reduce the maximum check cashing fee for government-issued checks from the current rate of 2.27% to 1.5%. This includes checks for social security, unemployment, emergency relief and veterans’ benefits. For all other checks, the maximum cashing fee will drop from 2.27% to 2.2%. The public comment period for this proposed regulation ended Sept. 15. If the proposal is adopted it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, otherwise the department is required to adopt a regulation by June 15, 2023, or refile and begin the process again, according to a DFS spokesperson.