Could you live without a bank account?

For most people, running their lives without a bank account would be unthinkable, yet nearly a million adults in Britain have to cope without one, living almost entirely in the cash economy. “On the Margins”, a new report by Consumer Focus on whose Board I sit, explores the experience of some of the most vulnerable individuals in 21st century Britain and why they do not have even basic bank accounts –  and as a consequence miss out on the benefits many of us take for granted.

By not having a bank account, vulnerable consumers can lose out time and time again.  They pay more by not being able to use Direct Debit for household bills or the internet to buy goods and services. They miss out on safer money management and convenient ATM cash access. They will find it difficult to access mainstream credit, insurance or to save effectively. Increasingly they will find it difficult to be paid for work – it is estimated that by 2018 only 2 per cent of employees will be paid in cash.


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