This paper studies the determinants of being unbanked in the euro area and the United States as well as the effects of being unbanked on wealth accumulation. Based on household-level data from the euro area Household Finance and Consumption Survey and the U.S. Survey of Consumer Finance, it first documents that there are, respectively, 3.6% and 7.5% of unbanked households in the two economies. Low-income households, unemployed households and those with a poor education are the most likely to be affected, and remarkably more so in the United States than in the euro area. At the same time, there is a role for government policies in fostering financial inclusion. Using a propensity score matching approach to estimate the effects of being unbanked, it is found that banked households report substantially higher net wealth than their unbanked counterparts, with a gap of around €74,000 for the euro area and $42,000 for the United States. A potential reason for this wealth difference is that banked households are considerably more likely to accumulate wealth via ownership of their main residence.