15th December 2014
The UK’s major banks are set to offer basic fee-free accounts following an agreement with the Treasury.
In a statement, the Treasury said these simplified accounts will offer consumers fundamental banking services but will not include overdraft or cheque book facilities.
The accounts are being aimed at those with a difficult credit history. A statement said the service “will support the financial inclusion agenda by offering a product that helps the less affluent and more vulnerable in society”.
The initiative, according to the Government, is aimed at putting an end people to being effectively locked out of their basic bank accounts due to high fees and charges when their payments failed.
The personal current accounts will provide counter access, withdrawals of cash and deposits at Post Office counters “on the same terms as other personal current accounts that the bank provides”.
Customers will also have ATM access within the LINK network; and be able to set up direct debits and standing orders.
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, 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.”
British Bankers Association chief executive, Anthony Browne added: “These basic accounts will make it easier for more people to manage their money. They will have many features that will help people to budget, pay bills and save up.”