A "Bank Desert" is a new term coined to describe an area that does not have a bank branch or may not have a bank branch anymore as the under performing expensive traditional bank branch was closed.
Washington DC has an urban core with 17 blocks without a bank branch.
Many rural areas (see maps) and entire counties do not have access to a bank branch.
With thanks to Hope Policy.
Click here to check your location on the BEA Distressed Communities map.
As per the FDIC Study Oct. 2014 150 million Americans are considered unbanked or underbanked.
Banking Status of U.S. Households
7.7 percent of households in the United States were unbanked in 2013. This proportion represented nearly 9.6 million households composed of approximately 16.7 million adults and 8.7 million children (1).
20.0 percent (24.8 million) of U.S. households were underbanked in 2013, meaning that they had a bank account but also used alternative financial services (AFS) outside of the banking system. Approximately 50.9 million adults and 16.6 million children lived in underbanked households.
67.0 percent (82.5 million) of U.S. households were considered fully banked in 2013.
HOWEVER the FDIC Study further states that: Adults are defined as people aged 16 and older.
A banked household may have one or more unbanked adults; these unbanked adults residing in banked households are not included in the 16.7 million adults figure cited in this report.
[Therefore adding at least another 82.5 million adults to the Total]
16.7 + 50.9 + 82.5
TOTAL = 150.1 million ”Bank Challenged” (unbanked / underbanked)
FDIC Study Oct 2014
NOTE: 2000 Federal Reserve Bank study = 43 million. 2008 VISA study = 108 million
Since 2008, 93% of bank branch closings have been in zip codes with below-national median household income levels. Meanwhile, banks have been opening branches in areas with median incomes above $100,000. Pew Charitable Trusts
Biz Journal: More than 1,600 bank branch closures in the U.S. last year (2015)
Wall Street Journal: The number of U.S. bank branches has fallen to the lowest level since 2005
Washington Post: Say goodbye to your neighborhood bank branch
CNBC: Bank branches slowly fading away in neighborhoods