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U.S. Unbanked Households Rising as FDIC Pushes for Alternatives

U.S. families without bank accounts grew by 821,000 from 2009 to 2011, pushing the so-called unbanked population to 8.2 percent of the nation’s households, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

About 17 million adults manage their finances without checking or savings accounts at insured institutions, many of them relying instead on non-bank services such as payday lenders and check-cashing firms, the FDIC said in the National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households released today. The agency released the report in conjunction with a conference to explore ways banks could profit by serving this population.