Poor often without bank acounts

Sept. 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Look for the poorest U.S. citizens and you will find the highest percentage of households that are not connected to any bank, data shows.

"Whenever you see high poverty and low-income populations, you will see higher populations of unbanked," said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive officer of CardHub.com, who once worked at Capital One on a project to find financial products for marginalized consumers.

The data reflects to trend. Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the country and the highest percentage of households, 15 percent, who have neither a savings nor a checking account.

Texas and Arkansas are second and third on the list, respectively, with 12.8 percent and 12.3 percent of their households "unbanked," CNNMoney reported Friday.

Nationally, 10 percent of the country's households have no routine connection to a bank, a report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. released this week said.

Nearly half of the people with no bank account -- 46 percent -- live in the South, although only 37 percent of the U.S. households are in that region.

Not surprising, 40 percent of the nation's poor live in the South, U.S. Census Bureau data indicates.

On the other end of the spectrum, only 1.9 percent of households in New Hampshire have no bank account. The Granite State also has the lowest poverty rate in the country, CNNMoney reported.

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