Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bank Accounts For All - Brown in 2000

Dizzy, who had the idea of crowdsourcing the budget, has just posted that the idea of providing a basic bank account for all isn't a new idea at all. It was heralded in Brown's 2000 budget, and not acted on for ten years! More HERE.

Dizzy has also found some small print which suggests VAT is going to be put on stamps from 2011. More HERE.


Roger Thornhill said...

It was a bad idea 10 years ago and it is a bad idea today.

Surely if it is *ok* to let all these people have a bank account, why isn't the CoOp doing it already?

The fact that they don't speaks volumes.

I do think there is some behind the scenes reason for this move. Just voicing that got me banned from the LabourLost "live" talk-to-ourselves blog.

Moriarty said...

Presumably the policy will be implemented just as nobody has any money to put into any bank account.

Apart from former Labour cabinet ministers of course.

Brian said...

When I worked at a JobCentre from 2003 onwards we had a campaign to get claimants to open a "basic bank account" to have their benefits paid into at a vastly lower cost to HMG (c.0.3p v c.£1.20). Most of the high street banks (with the exception of Coutts) offered a no-frills, no overdaft, cash card, standing order and direct debit product. Mind you, this happened just after DWP scrapped its contract with the Post Office to allow claimants to draw they money from Post Offices. Another Brown recycled Policy.

Brian said...

As I wrote earlierBasic Bank Accounts are here already and there's even a facility for undischarged bankrupts etc to open an account.

The King of Wrong said...

@Gallimaufry: Indeed, and I know for a fact that Basic Bank Accounts were available to undischarged bankrupts at the start of 2004.

Patrick said...


yeah its very tricky to get the job centre to send cheques these days.

They told me that unless i gave em bank details i would not get my benefits; and they phoned me too saying it cheques are being phased out; but the cheque still comes in the post regardless of what they say.

Bill Quango MP said...

Gallimaufry is quite correct. The scheme was set up and the idea was benefit claimants, child benefit,or low income people could draw money, pay bills with debit card, etc, over the counter at Post offices.
ALL of the big banks offer Basic accounts already.
As do Santander, Clydesdale,Nationwide,Co-OP,and others.

But the banks never offer, promote, or even encourage claimants to open them.They are almost impossible to open and many branches do not even know they exist. They are a loss maker for the banks and they aren't interested.

The proper option was just to let the Post office operate basic bank accounts by itself. I believe that this proposal has come up at every Labour conference since 2000, including the last one when Gordon Brown himself in the leader's speech specifically mentioned a commitment to Post office banking.

It won't happen.
It never does.
No matter how many times its re announced.

Unsworth said...

Where do I sign and is he going to be topping it up every week?

Unknown said...

Actually you could get a basic bank account back in 1994 when I was made bankrupt.

Now some banks are looking at some of their customer's current accounts and reducing them to a basic account. We have a joint account with Nationwide which we use for household bills. We've both had a letter saying that from June we can only have a cash card and they will be removing the cheque book from the account. We use it to pay people like the milkman and other small traders like my hairdresser who doesn't take cards. If we don't like it their response is that we can close the account and sod off!

But that isn't the point with this bank account for all idea. How exactly do the people this is aimed at meet the ID requirements? Nowadays you need at least a passport or driving licence for photo ID, utility bill (when they may be on a pre-payment meter), phone bill, bank or credit card statement for your address, which they don't have because...???

Are they going to water down the money laundering ruls then?