Northern Ireland

Without a bank account

Key points

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Graph 1: By level of income

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Definitions and data sources

Lack of a of bank or building society 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 graph shows how the proportion of households without a bank, building society or any other kind of account varies by level of household income.  For comparison purposes, the equivalent data for Great Britain is also shown.

The data source is the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.  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 Northern Irish 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.  Also sampling variations from small sample sizes make the Northern Irish figures somewhat uncertain even when using three-year averages.

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