Call for minimum standards on basic accounts

Providers of basic bank accounts should make sure they do not water down what they offer customers, Consumer Focus has argued.

These acco…

Providers of basic bank accounts should make sure they do not water down what they offer customers, Consumer Focus has argued.

These accounts are be taken up by people with poor banking or credit histories – such as those who have been insolvent via in individual voluntary arrangement or bankruptcy – as a means of avoiding financial exclusion.

However, the Consumer Focus Best of British Banking report has concluded that the facilities on offer by banks are being increasingly reduced, providing increasingly worse service to the 20 per cent of the population for whom these are their main or only account.

This could persuade some to do without them, a situation that must be avoided, according to chief executive Mike O'Connor.

He said: "The last thing these consumers need is a race to the bottom between banks which keep chipping away at the features these accounts offer."

Such comments have been endorsed by the Co-operative Bank, which said making such products increasingly less attractive threatens to undermine the major progress made between 2004 and 2009 in getting more people to have bank accounts.

By James Francis

Tell others:

shortlink