On many occasions it seems I have written to lament that banks in UK are lagging the international field: late to the party to offer remote video banking for example; years behind the US and Canada as regards remote cheque deposit. And don’t get me started on how the major Australian banks could teach the UK banks how to ramp up the user experience of mobile banking.

But as the year draws to a close the UK’s nine largest current account providers have worked out a new industry standard for basic accounts. The laudable aim is to target the unbanked by offering customers an account with a full range of payments and information features, including a debit card and access online, in branches and via the Post Office.

From September 2016, the account will be available to EU residents, in line with the Payment Accounts Directive.

Working with HM Treasury the participating banks have agreed to provide the account free of all charges to ensure that customers who inadvertently slip into the red do not pay for their mistakes.

There are currently around 9.3m basic bank accounts in the UK according to trade body The British Bankers Association up from 6m a decade ago. The UK unbanked now represent less than 2% of the adult population less than a third of the comparable rates in the US and Europe.

2014: Another difficult year

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

It’s that time of the year again. The year seems to have flown with a very mixed bag of news from the exciting (the launch of new start-up banks on the horizon such as Atom and Starling in the UK) to the frustrating (yet more banking misconduct, regulatory breaches etc) and the downright annoying (anything to do with PPI). Perhaps in 2015, a line can be drawn under this unedifying saga. It would help if the banks could finally get their PPI sums right; the regulator imposing a cut-off date for any future claims to be submitted would also be constructive.

On a personal note, a big thank you to subscribers and readers, freelance contributors and commercial partners such as Visa for its continued sponsorship of our cards events, Fiserv for its ongoing sponsorship of the RBI Awards and especially Intelligent Environments for its Digital Banking Club initiative.

The DBC has had a phenomenal year with membership now in excess of 3,500 not to mention four thoroughly enjoyable debates during the past year.

To you and yours, seasonal greetings, happy holidays and the very best for 2015.