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Basic bank accounts and financial inclusion

26th June 2009 Print
Figures from the BBA show that 145,000 post office-accessible accounts were opened in the first quarter of the year and 26,000 existing accounts upgraded.

Over the past 6 years, over 3.6 million post office-accessible accounts have been opened (half of which are estimated to be for customers with no previous banking relationship) and 465,000 have been upgraded to other accounts.

There are a further 3.5 million other basic functionality accounts, accessible through branches, cash machines and mobile branch facilities. Of these accounts, a net total of 810,000 have been opened and 211,000 upgraded.

David Dooks, BBA statistics director, said: "It is now 6 years since the industry committed to sharing a goal with government to improve financial inclusion in the UK with the launch of 'Universal banking'. For those who had no previous banking relationship, there are now 4.3 million people able to access their basic bank accounts at post offices, while there are a further 3.5 million other 'basic-function' accounts, providing a suitable first step to accessing cash and payment services. These figures show continuing progress towards the shared goal."