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Basic bank accounts and financial inclusion - final quarter of 2008

17th March 2009 Print
Latest figures from the BBA show that another 142,000 post office accessible accounts were opened in the final quarter of last year and 19,000 existing accounts upgraded.

Since April 2003, nearly 3.5 million post office accessible accounts have been opened (half of which are estimated to be for customers with no previous banking relationship) and 440,000 have been upgraded to other accounts.

There are also 3.5 million other basic functionality accounts, accessible through branches, cash machines and mobile branch facilities. Of these accounts, a net total of 794,000 have been opened and 214,000 upgraded in the past five years.

David Dooks, BBA statistics director, said: "Another 600,000 basic bank accounts being opened in 2008 demonstrates their continuing significance for the personal sector. For people with no previous banking relationship, there are now nearly 8 million ‘basic-function' accounts, providing a suitable first step to accessing cash and payment services. Banks are committed to working with government and other stakeholders to improve financial inclusion through these types of accounts."