With the benefit changes, claimants will be increasingly asked to provide bank accounts for their Universal Credit and other benefit payments.
Some people find this difficult due to the identification requirements from banks. Generally a passport or driving licence plus recent utility bill is required, but if you don't have a passport or driving licence, banks or building societies will accept a tenancy agreement and letter of reference from your landlord, or benefit letters from DWP or Inland Revenue. In-branch interviews may also be required.
Everyone is entitled to a 'basic' bank account and all the main banks are obliged to offer this service in line with Government guidelines for financial inclusion. These accounts are generally 'cash card' accounts and will organise direct debit and standing order facilities. Generally they do not offer overdraft facilities.
Some banks do charge for extra facilities, so be careful you are not signing up to more expense than you need.
Internet banking can be a good option as you can check your accounts daily - if you have internet access through a computer, laptop or mobile phone; but please ensure you have adequate anti-virus software on your computer.
If you need help or advice please contact the Money Matters Advisers on 01305 216067 or by email or CAB or visit your local banks.