FDIC survey shows pandemic aid pushed unbanked households to record low
news: In 2021, Number of unbanked households in the US reaches its lowest level Since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) began holding biennial Survey of unbanked and underbanked households,
Financial support was the key driver: The survey showed that 4.5% (5.9 million) of American households did not have a checking or savings account in 2021. This percentage is the lowest number recorded since the survey was first started in 2009.
The study found that one of the main drivers behind this percentage was citizens opening accounts to receive financial aid during the pandemic.
- 45% of people who opened a bank account after March 2020 said they were motivated to do so to receive stimulus payments, unemployment benefits, or any other type of government financial assistance.
- At the start of the pandemic, the FDIC launched an education program to encourage citizens to open a bank account for easy and direct access to financial aid programs.
- The FDIC also cited An increasing number of banks waiving their overdraft fees as another driver behind the drop in the unbanked percentage, Historically, people listed overdraft charges as a deterrent for opening a bank account.
The survey also found that 14% (18.7 million) of American households were considered underbanked in 2021.
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