Recently I discovered first hand how setting up a bank account as a new customer can be fairly tricky and without the proper guidance can often feel quite daunting at times.
I would have always have suggested an account upgrade would have been a preferable option for many, but as I recently found out this is not always possible. Your bank may not be able to give you the account options you are after, or the options you want may require a monthly fee at your existing branch when they could be free with another bank meaning you may have to move banks.
One such example could include persons holding a basic workers account, essentially a first account given to a person often under 18’s. Some of these accounts don’t provide a debit cared which can be used online or on the high street.
It was only this week that as a result of this scenario somebody I knew had to visit a cash point prior to going shopping, at which time the cash point broke leaving the person cardless and cashless. This all happened because they weren’t provided with a debit card on their account, something I would suggest in this digital age is a pretty basic, not to mention essential facility these days.
As in this case I experienced that some people still have these accounts at the age of 21 (although they are essentially children’s account) because there banks have failed to upgrade their account despite good levels of weekly/ monthly earnings being paid into the account on a regular basis.
It is also the case that when you phone up the appropriate people they seen somewhat short and reluctant to fulfil your enquiry as you are not deemed a premier customers. I get the feeling that some banks are reluctant to offer new free accounts. In the words of a personal banker on my last visit to a high street bank “I think we will see an end to free banking in the next two years”.
So where does this leave people who need a bank account in order to be paid, require the facility of a debit card with it to pay for goods and services and don’t have a need for all the extras that are provided with an account with a monthly fee.
It may well be that you have to bite the bullet and move banks to find an account that is right for you, but my feeling is you have to be fairly careful when opening up a new bank account and ensure you new account is opened before the old one shut down else you could end up accountless. For many this would mean no channel through which to receive wages!
There are several big name high street banks such as Barclays and Nationwide that still offer suitable free accounts. I also found this one from HSBC that fits the above criteria.
This bank offer a range of account options and their standard bank account is a current account with free banking, internet banking facility and debit card.
It may be the case that this particular scenario doesn’t echo your problem, in which case further digging is needed I’m afraid. I did however find this additional information on the FSA website for those people in need of some clarification of which type of account is best for them.
Basic bank account
Suitable if you want to make sure you don’t go overdrawn or you might not get through the bank’s credit check to open a current account.
Suitable if you want more than a basic bank account can offer you.
Suitable if you want to set money aside for a purchase or expense that you know will come up fairly soon (like a holiday or a deposit on a house), and you may need to get at the money quickly.