In their quest to turn the unbanked into customers, banks across the country are trying to encourage their states to provide matching funds to consumers who open savings accounts.

Twenty-one states have laws permitting the creation of so-called individual development account programs, in which states kick in as much as $1,000 a year to help low-income residents buy homes, start a business, or attend college. Those laws were passed in the last four years. Three other states are setting up such programs and as many as six others and the District of Columbia could do so this year, according to the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.

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