LAS VEGAS -- Nevada last year had the nation's highest percentage of households with bank accounts that also relied on alternative financial services such as non-bank check cashing and money orders and payday loans, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported Wednesday.
The report stated that 31.2 percent of Nevada households with bank accounts used such services in 2011 and were therefore "underbanked," an increase from the 21 percent of households that did so in 2009. Nationwide, 20.1 percent of households with bank accounts used alternative financial services in 2011, up from 18.2 percent in 2009.
In addition to underbanked Nevadans, 7.5 percent of the state's households didn't even have a bank account last year, up from 6.6 percent in 2009. In raw numbers, 323,000 Nevada households in 2011 were underbanked and 77,000 had no bank accounts.
In the Las Vegas metro area, 241,00 households, or 33.2 percent, were underbanked last year and 45,000 households, or 6.6 percent, didn't have bank accounts. In 2009, some 20 percent of households were underbanked and 6.8 lacked bank accounts.
The report stated that among those who use alternative financial services, transaction products such as non-bank money orders and check cashing are far more widely used than credit products such as payday loans, pawn shops and rent-to-own stores.