The basic bank account is ideal for those who may not be able to access more conventional current accounts. Here is a comparison of the most popular.
Key features for money advice.
Most basic accounts have a number of features in common:
- No credit check
- No overdraft facility
- No standing charge
- Access via telephone, online and at the branch (balance check, order stationary, setting up services)
With a few exceptions, basic accounts are generally offered with debit card or cash card and direct debit facilities, making them a flexible option. Customers can make applications by telephone or by visiting the branch and it is possible to apply online. The application process is quite simple, requiring basic details such as name, address, telephone number, etc. Once these details have been verified, the bank will then create a “unique account number” and organise the sending of cash or debit cards to the registered address, along with terms and conditions for the account’s usage. It is important to read this as it will include amounts charged for misuse of the account and other important information. It is worth noting the customer service number at this point, should any issues occur.
Banks comparison and their services.
Not all banking institutions offer the basic bank account, though the majority do, and not all offer the same “level of services” or charging rates. It is worth making a comparison to ensure that the chosen account is suitable for the need. For example, charges vary greatly – The missed payment fee for HSBC is nil, NatWest charge £6, and Halifax, TSB and Lloyds Bank will charge £10. However, Santander will charge £25 for the same issue. All these accounts are available for persons over the age of 18, though some do accept applications from 16 onwards.
When applying for a basic bank account, it is important to ensure that:
- Personal information is correct (Name, address etc.)
- The facilities offered are suitable
- Fees and charges are fully explained
- All parties (wages dept. creditors needing direct debit details) are aware of the new account details so they can be updated.
The information above is a brief overview of the key points when considering a basic bank account and is not exhaustive. There are plenty of other factors to consider and it is important to take some sound money advice before making a decision.