Sept. 14, 2012 – More than one in four U.S. households, 28.3 percent, are either “unbanked” or “underbanked,” according to results of the FDIC’s 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households.
The survey showed a slight increase from the number of households without financial institution accounts since the FDIC conducted its first such survey in 2009. The survey is conducted in partnership with the Census Bureau to determine the demographics and needs of the unbanked and underbanked.
FDIC Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg said the findings show insured financial institutions have an opportunity to bring more consumers into mainstream institutions.
NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker echoed that, noting this is an opportunity particularly for credit unions, which offer better savings and loan rates to their members and welcome small-dollar accounts. “Anyone can look for a credit union they might join via CULookup.com, NAFCU’s credit union locator site,” Becker said.
The FDIC’s 2011 survey results show that 821,000 more U.S. households have become unbanked since 2009. Also, it said more than half of unbanked households don’t have an account because they think they don’t have enough funds to open one, or they don’t need or want an account.
A person can obtain membership in a credit union with an initial deposit as low as $5, Becker noted.