Bank account options
There are a number of different bank account options available that can receive benefit payments.
Not all types of account can make automated outgoing payments (direct debits and standing orders) which are a useful tool for managing your money, and some accounts charge if these payments fail because of insufficient funds.
Fee-free bank accounts have been launched by nine banks – this means no charges are made if automated payments fail. These accounts are available to anyone who doesn’t already have a bank account, who can’t get a standard current account or who can’t use their existing account due to financial difficulty. Banks offering fee-free bank accounts (and names of the products offered) are listed on www.gov.uk.
Most banks offer a basic bank account that allows you to set up automated payments but does not have an overdraft. Basic bank accounts are a good option if you have not previously had a bank account and might not be eligible for standard current accounts because of a poor credit rating but these accounts might charge fees unlike fee-free bank accounts.
Credit Unions are another option if you have a poor credit history but there is usually a monthly cost for these accounts. Solent Credit Union is based in Winchester City Council’s Colebrook Street office every Friday 9.30am-12.30pm.
You will need some personal identification (ID) to open most types of bank account e.g. driving licence or benefit books/entitlement letter. Check what you will need to bring with you.