Why do you need a bank account?
You can use a bank account for:
Getting the right sort of account is important – you need to think about how and where you will pay money in and get money out and whether you should consider an online account. You may be offered a ‘package account’ for a monthly fee, check if the add-ons (like travel insurance) are useful to you. Take a look at our guide to comparing accounts to tell you more about the different sorts of accounts and work out what might suit you best.
You can open an account in your own name or with other people, e.g. someone you live with. Remember if you have an account jointly with someone else you are both “jointly and severally” responsible for any charges, interest, fees – this means you can end up being responsible for someone else not managing the account properly – so think carefully before deciding on a joint account.
Most basic bank accounts have the following features:
If you are refused a current account, you might be able to open a basic bank account even if you have a poor credit score. Always check with your bank that the account will be fee free so you don’t get any unexpected charges.
There are a number of savings accounts out there and it can all become quite confusing. The main types of savings accounts are:
For in-depth information on each type of account visit Money Saving Expert
A Credit Union is a non-profit community led organisations that offer access to financial services for everyone. They offer savings and low cost loans. You can also get a payment card to make purchases online or in shops. This is very helpful if you have been unable to get an account at a high street bank. For more information on Credit Unions visit Money Saving Expert
You will need proof of your identity and address to open an account. If you cannot provide what is first asked for don’t give up, talk to them about what you can provide and ask them to explain what is needed.
Required ID (proof of identity documents):
Make sure all of your documents show your correct name and address. If you register to vote this will also help with proof of identity.
To avoid costly bank charges, keep track by:
If you decide to change your bank or building society account, the Current Account Switch Service means that the process will have to be completed in seven working days. Which? have a step-by-step guide to switching your bank account and it is worth searching for the best deal as many banks now offer financial rewards for switching.
If you need advice or support regarding your finances, do not hesitate to contact us on:
Racing Welfare’s 24 hour support line enables people to access support and
guidance through digital and telephone options.