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Report reveals 1m adults do not have bank account

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by Kay Mitchell

A report by the Government-backed watchdog, Consumer Focus, has found nearly a million adults in Britain do not have a bank account.

The report, called “On the Margins“, comes as the Government introduces a reform of mainstream banking, and explores why these individuals do not have a basic bank account.

The Focus group, which is made up of a merger between Energywatch, Postwatch and the National Consumer Council, said these individuals pay more because they are not to use their accounts to pay direct debit for household bills.

Its study investigates the circumstances as to why they do not have a bank account. In-depth interviews found that bereavement, bankruptcy or homelessness prevent them from having an account.

However, some say they simply do not want an account and the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) defends this and said: “Many people are comfortable operating in cash as they feel it helps them budget better. And their choice to operate in cash should not be seen as inferior.”

Mike O’Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus, comments: “Banks are not charitable institutions, but they are a necessary gateway to the benefits of an increasingly online and cashless economy. Life without a bank account can cost time, money and convenience.”

Consumer Focus said Post Office banking services are also being developed to help those without bank accounts.

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News posted: June 10, 2010

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