Jan 2013 eBulletin

Access To Bank Accounts Made Easier For Bankrupts

As we often say to bankrupts, there is presently no law prohibiting an undischarged bankrupt from holding a bank account but that doesn’t stop most banks from not offering an account in such circumstances.

The Co-op stopped offering bank accounts to bankrupts in the latter part of last year. The Co-op said that 30% of its 330,000 basic bank account holders had gone through some sort of insolvency procedure. It argued that it was taking two and a half times more customers in this category than its “natural market share”.  The Co-op’s view is that existing bankrupts already with a bank account should be supported by that bank. The Co-op wants a system where major banks take their fair share of the remainder.

The banks defend their action by saying that, in certain circumstances, a Trustee in Bankruptcy could pursue the bank for monies paid out of the bankrupt’s account.

A change in the law is proposed to make this more unlikely. This follows a public consultation period last year which found that at least 18% of bankrupts cannot get their own bank account for the 12 months of their un-discharged bankruptcy period – in practice, they are forced to use cash or someone else’s account.

A spokesman for Citizens Advice said “The proposed change in law is very welcome and will mean there is no reason for banks not to provide accounts to these customers.” Several banks have already indicated they would be willing to change policies once the law is amended.

Whilst waiting for the changes in law:

Bank account for Bankrupts no credit checks, www.bankrupt-bank-account.co.uk or www.thinkmoney.co.uk  or  http://www.piggybankrupt.co.uk/bank-account/cashplusaff.html *

*These companies are not endorsed in any way by Griffin & King and are listed because of the services offered.