Darling 'planning bank accounts for all'

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 09:59

By myfinances.co.uk staff

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to announce a legal obligation for banks to provide basic accounts to all UK citizens when he unveils the Budget later today.

According to Treasury figures, there are 1.75 million people in Britain who do not have a transactional bank account.

The rumoured announcement will likely give a right of appeal to those turned down for the facilities, although it will not make having a bank account compulsory for consumers.

Mick McAteer, founder of thinktank the Financial Inclusion Centre, said that he would welcome the measure.

He added that access to a basic bank account is as crucial as having access to gas and electricity.

The British Bankers' Association argued that Britain is already a "world leader" in the provision of banking services.

In a statement, the industry body said: "Everybody can have a bank account if they want one, unless (and this is rare) the law says they can't."

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