The number of Americans without bank accounts is rising, with 10 million households lacking last year, up from 9 million in 2009.
That’s 8.2% of U.S. households, or 17 million adults who are categorized as "unbanked," according to a report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Nearly three in 10 households don’t have a savings account, while 10% don’t have a checking account.
Factor in all the additional people who are underbanked, and 28.3% of all households are conducting some or all of their financial transactions outside the mainstream banking system.
In the West, more than a quarter of households fit the description, relying on options such as prepaid cards, pawn shops, check-cashing operations, payday loans and more.
They're most likely to be non-Asian minorities or households that are lower-income, young, unemployed or less-educated, according to the report. More than half of unbanked households have never had a bank account, including nearly 15% of Hispanic households and 19% of foreign-born, non-citizen households.
Among such households, a third said they don’t have the funds to open and support a bank account; 26% said they don’t want or need an account. Many others blamed the distrust they feel toward banks, as well as unaffordable account fees and balance requirements.
In July, Americans saved less than they did in June, as the savings rate slipped to 4.2% from 4.3%, the Commerce Department said last month.