Without a bank account

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The proportion of low-income households without any type of bank or building society account is much lower than a decade ago, from 35% then to just 5% now.
  • The proportion of low-income households without bank or building society accounts is now lower in Scotland than in Great Britain as a whole, after having been higher for many years.  See the UK indicator on bank accounts.
  • The fall in the proportion of low-income households without a bank or building society account has largely coincided with the introduction of two new types of account, namely basic bank accounts and post office card accounts.  See the UK indicator on bank accounts for an analysis of this issue.

Definitions and data sources

The graph shows the proportion of households without a bank, building society or any other kind of account.  The data is split to show households in the poorest fifth of the income distribution and for households on average incomes (middle fifth of the income distribution) separately.

The graph is intended to illustrate the extent to which low income people are well served by private services.  Lack of an account can mean limited access to credit and so greater financial vulnerability, labour market disadvantage (employers tend to expect to pay wages directly into accounts) and higher prices for basic utilities than those paying by either cheque or direct debit.

The data source is the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  As well as bank and building society accounts, the figures also count any savings or investment accounts as well as post office card accounts but do not include stocks and shares, premium bonds, gilts, Save As You Earn arrangements or Credit Unions.

Income is household disposable income, equivalised and is measured after deducting housing costs.  Note that, although the statistics are for Scottish households only, the allocations to income quintiles are those for the total United Kingdom population income distribution.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  FRS is probably the most representative of the surveys that gather information on the extent to which people have bank and other types of account but the inclusion in recent years of people with post office card accounts only is arguably distorting the figures.

External links