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Open a Bank Account.

Opening a current account with a bank or building society is relatively simple and quick. Having such an account allows the account holder to keep their money in a safe place and to have CONTROL over it. Accounts can be for individual or joint applicants. Every account these days comes with a cash card. Other facilities for regular payments, such as Direct Debits and Standing Orders, and cheque books and cheque guarantee cards are usually offered after an appraisal of your financial standing by the bank or building society. A current account is often the first base for getting other financial products like loans and credit cards and your account is always referred to by companies from whom you may be seeking to obtain other financial products.

Please read on.

Money Surgery advocates the use of branch based accounts rather than purely telephone or purely internet. This is because speaking to someone face-to-face when a problem arises allows improved communication. The convenience of having a branch AS WELL AS telephone and internet banking facilities on a single current account gives a better service. At the Surgery, whilst we prefer current accounts that pay us more interest, we feel that this is not as important as minimal charges or efficient service. Many people may be dazzled by the higher rates and we should remember to look at the full picture both before and after getting a bank account: Some banks advertising 4 percent on credit balances don't say at the same time that this is only for salary credits of £1000 plus or for a minimum £500 balance. Why have 4% gross on your current account when your internet savings account pays 7% gross and your transfer takes just 24 hours? Each bank or building society will have different rules on current account opening but this is a typical step-by-step guide:

  • Provided you can answer YES to the following questions, you could get a current account with Cheque Guarantee Card and Debit Card facilities. If you cannot answer YES to all the questions, you will still be accepted for a current account with a cash card
    • Are you registered to vote at your current address?
    • Have you received a regular monthly income of over £500 for the last 12 months?
    • Are all your loan and credit card payments up-to-date?
    • Do you have a home and work telephone?
  • To open an account, simply take the following to your nearest branch: A completed application form, available from the branch, and proof of identity and address, if you are a new customer.
  • Banks and building societies are required by law to verify your identity and address and those of additional account holders, so please bring one ORIGINAL document from each of the following two lists, for each new account holder.

Please read on.

Confirming your name (one item only):

  • Full UK or EC Driving Licence.
  • UK issued Cheque Guarantee Card together with an original statement for the account that isn't more than three months old.
  • Valid Passport
  • Signed ID card with your photograph provided by your employer (the employer should be known to the branch manager)
  • Pension allowance book
  • Armed Forces ID card
Confirming your address (one item only):
  • Gas, electricity or telephone bill that isn't more than three months old
  • Council tax demand that isn't more than three months old
  • Bank or credit card statement that isn't more than three months old
  • Mortgage statement
  • Medical card
  • Inland Revenue Notice of Tax Code

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People's Bank Launched

(Tuesday 24th December 2001)

A new venture, dubbed Britain's first ever People's Bank, has been unveiled in Scotland.

A new building has been built for Dalmuir Credit Union which is the largest credit union in the UK with over 60,000 members and has handled £30 million of member's money since its creation. Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations that can offer borrowing at lower rates than high street banks and cater for people whose only other alternative is loan sharks and what the Citizens Advice Bureaux call "consumer credit rip-offs". The CAB say that those on lower incomes are likely to suffer the most from overborrowing and has called for the government to introduce a system of affordable "social loans".

The Christmas period drives many people into debt, particularly families on low incomes. Irresponsible lending can lead to financial problems that are not entirely the fault of the borrower. We suggest that everyone seek out their local CAB and credit union to see what they offer, what they can do for you, whether you are in debt or not, as a first rather than a last resort.

Please read our other pages.

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Copyright 2000 - 2007 ©Kevin Anthony Jones. All rights reserved.

Please read on.
Saving Money: Switched on ways to keep hold of your precious cash.
Getting Money: Clever, barely legal ways of getting money.
How a house, open a bank account...
Future Dreams: Planning, after your debts have been eliminated.
Financial X-Ray: Let the nice doctors at Money Surgery X-ray your wallet.
Money News: The latest from the world of personal finance.
The best interest rates for saving and borrowing.
Feedback: Write to the Surgery.
Contacts: Other people who may be able to help, if we can't.
Money Surgery.