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BankingMan at a cashpoint

You can bank on it!

With universal credit on the horizon, having a bank account that offers direct debits and standing orders is going to be more important than ever. So we thought we'd send out our customer service inspectors (CSI) to see how easy it is for someone on benefits to open up a basic bank account. 

What identification do I need to take with me? 

Answers varied from town to town, even for the same bank chain! As a rule of thumb we think your two most recent benefit award letters, and two current utility bills (gas/electricity, water, phone etc) should be enough to process new applications. 

Will a poor credit score/ no credit history be a problem? 

Most banks weren't clear about this either, except Barclays, who told our CSI team that evreyone has the right to a bank account regardless of their credit history. We agree!

How will I pay my rent? 

You need to make sure you pay your rent every month without fail or you could be evicted. The safest way to do this is to set upa direct debit with your bank. 

this page was last updated: 16/03/2015 17:16:00


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