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FDIC Releases National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked

 

Sept 18 - The FDIC has released the results of its 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, the most comprehensive survey on the unbanked and underbanked in the United States. The survey indicates that more than one in four U.S. households (28.3 percent) are either unbanked or underbanked, a slight increase from the findings of the FDIC's 2009 inaugural survey. 1 The survey, conducted every two years by the FDIC in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of the Census, provides the banking industry and policy makers with insights and guidance on the demographics and needs of the unbanked and underbanked.

According to the 2011 survey, 821,000 more U.S. households have become unbanked since the first survey in 2009, representing a 0.6 percentage point increase. More than half of all unbanked households said they do not have an account because they believe they do not have enough money or that they do not need or want an account. In addition, the report shows that three in 10 households nationally do not hold a savings account.

"The results of the 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households indicate that insured financial institutions have an important chance to grow their customer base by expanding opportunities that bring unbanked and underbanked individuals into mainstream banking" said FDIC acting chairman Martin J. Gruenberg.

Other key findings of the survey include:

"There are many positives to establishing a relationship with an insured financial institution. Access to an account at a federally insured institution provides households with the opportunity to conduct basic financial transactions, build wealth, save for emergency and long-term security needs, and access credit on fair and affordable terms," Gruenberg said.

In conjunction with the release of the National Survey at the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, a panel of financial services providers and experts will discuss the work they are doing to promote safe banking accounts. (Learn more at www.economicinclusion.gov.) Also, a representative of the Bank-On movement will talk about efforts by Bank-On institutions to provide safe banking accounts and other strategies to better serve low- and moderate-income consumers.

 


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