Fees and the Unbanked
How Your State Compares with the Nation
In its recent report, Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts, the Pew Health Group's Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project investigated checking accounts offered by the ten largest US banks, which held nearly 60 percent of the nation's deposit volume. Pew analyzed more than 250 accounts that these banks advertised online in October 2010. The data below reflect the median disclosed costs of banking services at the two banks in the study that had branches in Alabama and that indicated a presence in the state on their disclosure forms from October. As of June 30, 2010, these banks held 12 percent of all deposits in the state, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
According to the FDIC, significant percentages of American households are unbanked or underbanked. The FDIC defines the unbanked as households that lack a checking or savings account and the underbanked as households that "have a checking or savings account, but rely on alternative financial services," such as non-bank money orders or check cashing, payday loans, rent-to-own agreements and pawnshops.
Data from the 2009 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households show that 31 percent of U.S. households that dropped a bank account they had previously maintained cited either service charges, minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees as a reason for leaving the banking system.