Record number of US households banked

A record 96% of US households were banked in 2021.

So says the latest national survey just released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Why it matters? The percentage of those unbanked in a country reflects on that nation’s willingness to provide its peoples with levels of financial inclusivity that is key to increased prosperity and security.

The FDIC’s 2021 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households found an estimated 4.5% of US households (5.9 million households), lacked a bank or credit union account, the lowest national unbanked rate since the FDIC survey began in 2009.

Ticket tape parade? The marching bands should be rehearsing, as these figures show that around 1.2 million more households were banked since 2019. But, the fight is far from over, as six million people remain unbanked and 14.1% of households (18.7 million households), were underbanked in 2021. This means they had a bank, or credit union account, and used non-bank financial products and services. So, progress, but not job done.

The record was achieved despite the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, nearly half of newly banked households that received government payments said these payments contributed to their decision to open an insured bank or credit union account.

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