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More Americans are putting their money in a bank, according to the latest National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
During 2015, seven percent of U.S. households did not have a bank account, the lowest level in the survey’s six-year history. Among demographic groups, the unbanked rate for black households dropped from 20.6 percent in 2013 to 18.2 percent in 2015, and for Hispanic households it fell from 17.9 percent to 16.2 percent during the same period. However, unbanked rates for Asian households increased from 2.2 percent in 2013 to four percent two years later.
"Developing a relationship with a bank helps consumers build assets and create wealth, makes them less susceptible to discriminatory or predatory lending practices, and can provide a financial safety net against unforeseen circumstances," FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said. "The decline in the share of households who do not having a banking relationship is a positive development, and the FDIC will continue working to help ensure households have access to safe, secure, and affordable banking services."
However, a banking relationship does not necessarily require a branch unit. The FDIC found that 36.9 percent of Americans used online banking as their primary method for accessing a bank account, while 28.2 percent went the brick-and-mortar route.