I am delighted that the banking industry has agreed to provide basic fee-free bank account facilities to anyone who doesn’t already have a bank account or who can’t use their existing account due to financial difficulty.
This is a huge step for widening financial inclusivity within the UK and I am pleased that, following extensive negotiations with the banking industry to bring basic bank accounts up to scratch, nine high street banks and building societies covering over 90 per cent of the UK current account market have agreed to offer a better deal to customers.
This means that those people who have previously been unable to access regular banking facilities will be able to manage their money with certainty and clarity. It will end people being effectively locked out of their basic bank accounts due to high fees and charges when their payments failed. In some cases, charges had been as high as £35 per failed item, and uncapped, meaning charges could accumulate to hundreds of pounds over time and drive people into serious debt.
Ending this unfair situation is a real step forward for the banking industry’s most vulnerable customers and improving access to banking is a key part of our long-term economic plan.
You can read the agreement between the Government and the banking industry here.