The biennial survey covered data from 2017 and found 6.5 percent of households were unbanked, down from seven percent in 2015 and from the peak of 8.2 percent set in 2011. The unbanked numbers for 2017 is equal to 14.1 million adults in 8.4 million households who do not have a checking or savings account.
The FDIC also determined the number of underbanked households in 2017 was 18.7 percent, or approximately 48.9 million adults in 24.2 million households. The FDIC defined underbanked as some with an account at an insured institution also obtained financial products or services outside of the banking system.
“The good news is that our nation’s banking system is serving more American households than ever before. The bad news is that even as the overall number of people who are unbanked has declined, 8.4 million households continue to lack a banking relationship,” said FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams.
As for those with bank accounts, the FDIC found mobile banking was used by 40.4 percent of banked households in 2017 to access their account, almost double the 23.2 percent four years earlier. And 86 percent of banked households visited a bank branch in the past 12 months while 35.4 percent visited the branch 10 or more times.