Regulators and advocacy groups have been steadily pushing traditional financial firms to bring low-income consumers into the banking system or do more to keep them there. But are banks the best option for everyone?

Not by a long shot, says Lisa Servon, a professor of urban policy and management at The New School in New York. She refutes the argument that the poor would flock to banks—and that they necessarily would be better off doing so—if bank products could only be made more accessible somehow.

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