Nearly 10 million U.S. households don’t have bank accounts, representing about 8.2 percent of the population and that’s a slight increase from two years ago, according to the Federal Insurance Deposit Corp.
The estimated 0.6 percentage point increase represents an additional 821,000 “unbanked” households.
The FDIC, the independent U.S. agency that insures Americans’ bank deposits, sponsored the second National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households to help ensure that “all Americans have access to basic, safe, and affordable bank services,” the agency said in a statement.
In addition, the survey found that 20 percent of U.S. households are “underbanked.”
The FDIC defines underbanked households as having a checking and/or a savings account. But these households have also used non-bank money orders, non-bank check cashing services, non-bank remittances, payday loans, rent-to-own services, pawn shops, or refund anticipation loans (RALs) in the past 12 months.
This “underbanked” category represents one in five households, or 24 million households. The 2011 underbanked rate in 2011 is higher than the 2009 rate of 18.2 percent. However, the FDIC stipulates that the proportions are not directly comparable because of differences in the two surveys.
The FDIC also found that 29.3 percent of households do not have a savings account, while about 10 percent do not have a checking account.
About two-thirds of households have both checking and savings accounts.
One-quarter of households have used at least one alternative financial service (AFS) product in the last year, and almost one in ten households have used two or more AFS.
In all, 12 percent of households used an AFS product in the last 30 days, including four in ten unbanked and underbanked households.
Read the FDIC’s full report.