Bank accounts reduce criminal re-offending

| December 4, 2009
Bank accounts reduce criminal re-offending

Prisoners who open a bank account before they leave prison are significantly less likely to re-offend, according to a new study.

Research by Liverpool John Moores University (JMU) found re-offending rates reduced by 34.8% among short term prisoners with a bank account.

Having a bank account allows ex-offenders to quickly find a job and accommodation, rather than needing to turn back to crime to pay their way.

The Co-operative Bank, which pioneered the bank accounts for prisoners scheme, said bank accounts help to reduce re-offending because they promote social and financial inclusion.

“The report confirms the importance of basic bank accounts to prisoner rehabilitation by making a positive contribution to reducing re-offending rates, said Neville Richardson, chief executive of The Co-operative Financial Services.

Paul Jones, from the research unit for financial inclusion at Liverpool JMU, added: “It is clear that bank accounts are an important element in enabling ex-prisoners to become valuable members of society and other banks should consider following the pioneering work carried out by The Co-operative Bank.

“Bank accounts are not the panacea for reducing re-offending rates but as this research shows it can have a positive impact.”

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