The main banking providers have agreed with HM Treasury to do more to help basic bank account customers – including those who are vulnerable – avoid triggering fees and charges.
The BBA, working closely with the nine largest personal current account providers in the UK, has developed a new industry standard for basic bank accounts in the UK in order to broaden out financial inclusion and give customers the confidence to use a wide range of day-to-day banking services without fear of unforeseen charges.
The revised account is aimed at those who don’t currently have a bank account who might not be able to open a standard account, customers looking to switch and customers in financial difficulty. The account has a full range of payments and information features, including a debit card and access online, in branches and via the Post Office.
Working with HM Treasury the participating banks have agreed to provide the account free of all charges to ensure that customers who inadvertently slip into the red do not pay for their mistakes.
BBA Chief Executive, Anthony Browne said:
“Banks in the UK lead the way when it comes to providing accessible banking and take their financial inclusion responsibilities seriously – the proportion of the population with no account at all is less than a third of that in the US and Europe. Now we will be helping even more people access banking services than ever before, and these basic accounts will make it easier for more people to manage their money. We are delighted that the banks will be offering this service to those who will really benefit.”