The theory that Millennials are abandoning banks is overblown, hinging on how banking
relationships are defined.
Younger adults of the Millennial generation, those currently age 18-34, do continue to trend
away from traditional checking and savings accounts. As of 2015, 55% of 18- to 34-year-olds
were “unbanked” in this sense, up from 49% in 2008.
In contrast, the share of Millennials who are institutionally unbanked is falling—that is, the
share of younger adults who not only go without a traditional checking or savings account, but
without any type of account at any bank, credit union, or savings & loan institution in the
previous 12 months.
As of 2015, 17% of 18- to 34-year-olds were “unbanked” by this broader
definition, down from 41% in 2008, during the height of the recession.