According to the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, seven percent of households in the United States were unbanked in 2015, translating to approximately 9 million unbanked households. Moreover, 19.9 percent of U.S. households (24.5 million) were underbanked. Underbanked individuals can be defined as individuals who rely heavily on alternative financial services to acquire funding, rather than bank-related methods such as credit cards or loans.

The most commonly cited reason for not having a bank account was, “Do not have enough money to keep in an account.” 57.4 percent of unbanked households cited this as a reason, and 37.8 percent cited this as the main reason. The unbanked and underbanked population tends to be poor, low-income, working class people who cannot fully take advantage of mainstream financial services due to poor money management skills, lack of financial literacy, or poor credit. 

Chairman, Founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, John Hope Bryant, was interviewed on  “Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress” on Monday, November 14 to discuss financial empowerment options available for the individuals in underserved communities. During the interview, Bryant explained how the new commitment from SunTrust will expand the HOPE Inside model, that brings financial counseling and resources to communities, from seven existing branch locations to 200 locations by 2020.

Listen to John Hope Bryant’s interview below (35:53). You can learn more about SunTrust Banks commitment to open 200 HOPE Inside locations by 2020 here.