BBA: 2.6 million open basic bank accounts

21 March 2007
Over 150,000 basic bank accounts are being opened every quarter following the launch of the government's Universal Banking scheme in April 2003, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) has revealed.

A total of 2.26 million of these accounts, which allow customers to access banking services at their local post office branch, have been opened since 2003.

Given that over half of these customers were previously completely 'unbanked', the UK has thus extended banking to 1.2 million financially excluded people, BBA chief executive Angela Knight stated.

She described the progress towards the government target of halving the numbers of adults 'unbanked' as "steady and sustained", adding that once they have made their first entry into banking, one in ten people have progressed to a more sophisticated accounts package with additional features.

Nevertheless, the BBA's announcement may be intended to shore up the position of Britain's banks in the light of the news that credit unions will soon be able to provide basic accounts for the first time.

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