Banks looking for customers who are underserved by traditional lenders should try marketing to their own employees. Three banks are among the companies that employ the highest number of underbanked Americans, according to a study released Tuesday by FactorTrust, a provider of consumer data.

FactorTrust would not disclose the names of the banks but said they are three of the five largest in the country. Rounding out the top 10 are four retailers, a chain restaurant, a federal agency and a telecommunications company, according to FactorTrust.

The study is the first of a planned quarterly survey of the underbanked, a group FactorTrust defines as those who lack traditional access to credit, but have a banking relationship, such as a checking account. For employees of the three banks, first-payment default rates range 14% to 23%, according to the study.

The first survey is a demographic overview of the underbanked. It found that the average age of underbanked loan applicants is 30 years old, and repayment rates are higher for applicants that age or above. Women make up 62% of underbanked loan applicants.

The average annual salary for the underbanked is $36,733 a year. Sixty-seven percent are renters, and they spend two years, on average, at each address.

"Our goal in launching this quarterly index is to share the knowledge we've been able to mine from our database of millions of records related to underbanked consumer," said FactorTrust Chief Executive Greg Rable in the news release. "We want to empower lenders to reach these consumers effectively as well as educate a broader audience about who these consumers are."

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