There are many benefits to establishing a relationship with an insured financial institution, yet according to a recent survey, a growing number of U.S. households today are either unbanked or underbanked.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today released the results of its 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, which revealed 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.”
The new survey also found one-quarter of households have used at least one alternative financial service (AFS), such as non-bank check cashing or payday loans in the past year, and almost one in 10 households have used two or more types of AFS products or services. In all, 12 percent of households used an AFS in the past 30 days, including four in 10 unbanked and underbanked households.
These survey findings are a testament to a reality of our financial system – that millions of Americans turn to various financial products offered by banks and non-banks for their specific financial situation. Recognizing the need to serve different economic groups in different ways with different financial products and services is the first step toward creating a better market that works for consumers.