Undischarged bankrupts barred by banks

| July 28, 2010
Undischarged bankrupts barred by banks

Only two out of seventeen high street banks allow people going through bankruptcy to open a basic, no credit bank account, new research has found.

A study by the Citizens Advice Bureau found only the Co-operative and Barclays offer bank accounts to undischarged bankrupts, despite there being no legal reason to deny these people access to basic banking services.

“Most people take having a bank account for granted, but without access to one, basic tasks such as receiving wages or benefits and paying bills can become huge and costly obstacles to overcome, particularly for people who are often at a vulnerable point in their lives,” said Gillian Guy, CAB chief executive.

“Just because someone is made bankrupt it does not mean their life stops.”

The Post Office and Credit Unions also offer banking services to people going through bankruptcy.

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL), condemned high street banks for banning undischarged bankrupts from opening accounts.

“For undischarged bankrupts to be denied access to transactional banking only worsens their already significant financial difficulties,” he said.

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