The best of British banking: a report by Accent on basic bank accounts for Consumer Focus

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Accent, Marketing and Research (Firm)
Consumer Focus
Date of publication
1 November 2012
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This research project focuses on concerns about the way banks are treating holders of Basic Bank Accounts. Initiated by the Financial Inclusion Taskforce in 2003 to tackle the problem of financial exclusion, basic bank accounts have succeeded in bringing the benefits of a bank account to millions of UK consumers. A bank account today is an essential product and everyone needs the option of having an account which, as a minimum, lets them access their money safely and conveniently, make payments and receive their salaries and any benefits. This report emphasises the success of the basic bank account, reveals high levels of satisfaction and looks closely at why the product has proved so successful with consumers. However, the success of basic bank accounts at achieving financial inclusion is under threat. The Royal Bank of Scotland has joined Lloyds Banking group in withdrawing access to the LINK network to withdraw cash and check balances. More recently the Cooperative Bank stopped offering bank accounts to undischarged bankrupts; leaving Barclays as the only provider to this customer group. The research suggests that no substantial changes are needed to the current basic bank account product format but that a combination of attributes already offered by basic bank account providers could form the basis for a product that meets the majority of consumer needs.

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