Launch of basic fee-free bank accounts
The Government has published a list of nine banks that have agreed to offer basic bank accounts. This follows a new agreement that was reached last month between the Government and the banking industry to establish a new basic bank account. These new accounts will help people who do not have a bank account or who are frozen out of existing accounts because of previous money problems.
These basic bank accounts will not offer overdrafts or cheque books but will be similar to existing bank accounts in many ways and will be suitable for day-to-day transactions. However, the accounts will provide for counter access on the same terms as other bank customers and also allow for access to ATMs and online services.
Announcing the launch of the new agreement, the Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:
‘I welcome the banks’ agreement to remove these charges from their basic bank accounts. This means that people who don’t have an account, or who would struggle to get a standard account due to money problems, 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.’
The new accounts are expected to be in place by the end of this year and will be offered by the following banks:
- the Co-operative Bank
- Lloyds Banking Group (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands)
- National Australia Group (including Clydesdale and Yorkshire brands)
- RBS Group (including NatWest and Ulster Bank brands)