Following last year’s landmark agreement between the government and the banking industry to establish new basic bank accounts, millions of bank customers across Britain now stand to benefit by hundreds of pounds as nine major banks launch fee-free basic bank accounts from 1 January 2016. 

As well as providing access to a bank account for those who are ineligible for a standard current account or who cannot use their existing account due to financial difficulty, the changes will:

  • Remove the risk that basic bank account customers will be forced into an overdraft as a result of cumulating fees and charges.
  • Allow basic bank account customers to be offered services on the same terms as other personal current accounts that banks provide, such as standard over-the-counter services and access to the entire ATM network.

Existing basic bank account customers should ask their bank whether they could still be charged if a direct debit or standing order fails, and whether they are eligible for a new basic bank account.