Written Question on Bank Services

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Bank Services"
Date Title Questioner
9 May 2019, 10:37 a.m. Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour - Life peer) Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the HM Treasury

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people who have no form of bank account in the UK and the additional costs such people incur to access certain goods and services.

Answer (Lord Young of Cookham)

The Government takes financial inclusion very seriously and is working to ensure everyone can have access to useful and affordable financial services, including a bank account.

The Treasury does not make assessments of the number of people who do not have a bank account or the additional costs that may be incurred. However, in 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority published the results of the Financial Lives Survey which found that 1.3 million UK adults were unbanked, i.e. have no current account or alternative e-money account.

The Financial Lives Survey report contains further information on the characteristics of the unbanked. The report analyses survey results across the four nations of the UK, the nine regions of England, and by rural and urban areas. The FCA intend to repeat the Financial Lives Survey on a regular basis in future.

However, the nine largest personal current account providers in the UK are legally required to offer fee-free basic bank accounts to customers who do not have a bank account or who are ineligible for a bank’s standard current account. Accounts have all the standard payment features such as Direct Debits and Standing Orders, though no overdraft or cheque book facilities. The Treasury’s December 2018 publication shows that in total there are nearly 7.5 million basic bank accounts open in the UK.

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