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December 29, 2015updated 04 Apr 2017 12:48pm

UK banks roll out fee-free basic bank accounts

A total of nine British banks and building societies are set to introduce new fee-free basic bank accounts.

A total of nine British banks and building societies are set to introduce new fee-free basic bank accounts.

The organisations offering the new account include Barclays, Santander, NatWest, Ulster Bank (Northern Ireland), The Royal Bank of Scotland (Scotland), RBS England & Wales, HSBC, Nationwide, Co-operative Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, TSB, as well as National Australia Bank Group (including Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale brands).

The accounts will be available from 1 January 2016 for consumers who do not have a bank account or are not qualified for a standard current account.

The change, which follows a deal signed between the government and the banking industry last December, will exempt accountholders from being charged fees for missing a direct debit payment or standing order.

Previously, customers could be charged as high as £35 for every failed payment, which often pushed them into overdraft.

Commenting on the move, Economic Secretary Harriett Baldwin said: "Making sure that everyone in Britain has access to basic banking and financial services is at the heart of our long term plan.

"That’s why I’m delighted that for the first time, truly fee-free basic bank accounts will be available to anyone who doesn’t already have an account, or isn’t able to use their existing account due to financial difficulty."

 

 

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