THE BRONX - A report released Thursday by the Department of Consumer Affairs states that Bronx residents are least likely than other New Yorkers to have a bank account.

According to the survey, adults living in low-income, minority neighborhoods like Mott Haven, Melrose, Morris Heights and University Heights are more likely to rely on pawn shops and check cashing businesses than on banks.

"The reason they're not going into banks is they're concerned about fees," says Cathie Mahon, of the Office of Financial Empowerment.

In an effort to address the issue of bank fees, the city has launched NYC Safe Start Account, which allows customers to open ATM-based accounts with no overdraft or monthly fees and a minimum balance of only $25.