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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Bank account deal will help the poorest

This news post is about 8 years old
 

​CAS says agreement between Treasury and banks will be a boost to the most vulnerable

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has welcomed the news that the UK’s nine biggest banks have agreed to provide free basic accounts by the end of 2015.

Many people have no account because banks have in the past refused to accept them, due to problems like poor credit history or a previous bankruptcy.

But having no bank account makes life very difficult for people, impacting on the receipt of benefits and wages.

A deal between the UK Treasury and leading banks was revealed this week.

Having a simple bank account will be a real lifeline to consumers who are currently turned away at the door by the major players in high street banking

CAS research has found that many people are unable to pursue employment opportunities because they have no account for wages to be paid into.

Access to a bank account also makes it easier for people to get affordable credit, housing, and lower utility payments.

CAS spokesman Fraser Sutherland said: “Having no bank account makes it very difficult for people to manage their money. And far too many Scots are in this position. So of course we welcome this announcement.

“It has been a long time coming. However, it is unfortunate that it has taken the threat of EU directives, due to come into effect in 2016, to force the industry to take these steps.

“We are pleased that this agreement will see a range of accounts now available that will have no hidden fees and charges, and will be open to those who have faced financial problems in the past.

“Just having a simple bank account will be a real lifeline to consumers who are currently turned away at the door by the major players in high street banking.”

Previous CAS research indicated that one in 10 Scots did not have a bank account, increasing to one in five of those who live in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

 

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