Opening a bank account?

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Opening a bank account?

If you are worried about opening a bank account because you don’t have the standard ID or you have been refused an account in the past, don’t worry you can open a basic bank account.

Basic bank accounts

A basic bank account is a straightforward account that allows you to pay money in, receive your benefits or pension and withdraw cash.  As there is no overdraft you can’t get into debt.

It’s perfect for anyone who:

  • doesn’t already have a bank account
  • doesn’t have photo ID (like a passport or driving licence)
  • has experienced difficulty opening an account because of poor credit history
  • can’t use their current bank account due to financial difficulties

With a basic bank account you can:

  • get a debit card to use in shops
  • pay money in
  • withdraw cash at cash point machines or at the Post Office
  • manage your money using internet or telephone banking
  • receive your Universal Credit payments
  • pay bills by Direct Debit and standing order (and you won’t get charged even if a Direct Debit or standing order fails due to lack of funds)

How can I open a basic bank account?

You must go into a branch and apply in person.  Ask for a ‘fee-free Basic Bank Account’ – if you don’t you may be assessed for a standard current account and may be refused one. You usually have to provide two different forms of identification, one to prove who you are and the other one to prove where you live.

For more advice on bank accounts check out the Money Advice Service website or contact our friendly Welfare Rights and Money Advice team for any queries to do with money, debt or benefits.