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2011 Survey of Banks' Efforts to Serve the Unbanked and Underbanked

Last Updated: October 25, 2022

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released the results of its 2011 FDIC Survey of Banks’ Efforts to Serve the Unbanked and Underbanked. The results provide insight into the cost and availability of basic checking and savings accounts, as well as auxiliary products and services offered by banks that are used by underserved consumers. The report also identifies educational, outreach and marketing activities targeted to unbanked and underbanked consumers as well as retail strategies used by banks to be more welcoming or convenient to customers in general. Finally, banks report on the challenges they perceive to serving unbanked and underbanked consumers.

About the 2011 Bank Survey

As mandated by Section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Conforming Amendments Act of 2005, the FDIC surveys insured depository institutions to assess their efforts to bring individuals and families who have rarely, if ever, held a checking or a savings account at an insured depository institution into the financial mainstream. In designing this survey, the FDIC sought to provide information that would inform efforts to serve unbanked and underbanked individuals. This survey updates results from the first Bank Report published in 2009.

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The 2011 Bank Survey was voluntary and consisted of an Internet-based questionnaire administered to a nationally representative random stratified sample of 707 headquarters of retail banks, with 567 banks (80 percent) responding. Through the survey design, banks are grouped into one of three asset size categories: the largest 25 banks (with assets greater than $38 billion), the smallest institutions (with assets less than $1 billion), and midsize banks (with assets between $1 billion and $38 billion). Data was collected from November 2011 through February 2012.