ONE Irish household in every five did not hold a bank current account in 2008, new research has discovered.
This figure was almost three times the EU average, according to the study carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute.
One of the authors of the study Helen Russell said all households needed access to a low-cost bank account to avoid being exploited financially.
And it revealed that one in 20 households were "over-indebted" by 2008 and the over-indebtedness level rose to 24pc in households headed by someone without a job, 23pc among lone parent households and 22pc among local authority tenants.
The study defined over-indebted households as those which were in arrears on housing or other bills more than once in the previous year, considered their housing costs or repayments to be a heavy burden and were unable to raise money to deal with an unexpected expense. The ESRI noted that these figures are likely to have increased significantly since 2008.
The think tank outlined that part of the recapitalisation of Irish banks in 2008 was a commitment to provide basic bank accounts to excluded groups, but there was little evidence of progress on this commitment.
Its findings pointed towards a greater State involvement in negotiating rent reductions for households receiving Rent Supplement.