Opening a bank account

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1 Opening a bank account There are two main types of bank account. We ve outlined the main features and benefits for you. There s also a guide to the most common banking terms in case you re unsure. Some of the features will not be available at all banks so check with your preferred bank. This is just a general guide to get you started. Basic bank account - features You can only spend what s in your account You cannot overspend You get a cash card to withdraw cash from bank machines You do not get a chequebook. How do I get started? You can open a basic bank account with high street banks, building societies and credit unions. Fill out the attached form Use the checklist on the form to find out which types of identification you need Take the form and identification into your local branch to open your account. With a basic bank account, you can: Arrange to have your wages and benefits paid into it Set-up direct debits, which pay bills automatically. Current account - features You get a debit card which can be used to withdraw money and to pay for goods You may get a cheque book You may get interest on money you leave in the account You can apply for an overdraft You may have to pay a monthly fee. Overdrafts Overdrafts let you spend more money than is in your account but you ll usually pay interest and possibly other fees. Banks are not allowed to use any benefit payments to clear an overdraft. This is called the first right of appropriation. However, you need to tell them in writing: Print, fill out and sign the attached form Post it to your bank or take it into your local branch. How to apply You can open a current bank account with high street banks, building societies and credit unions. You can do this in the branch, by post or online. I m still not sure which account to choose Have a look at the Basic Bank Accounts leaflet by the Money Advice Service which tells you: Important things to think about before opening a basic bank account How basic bank accounts work Different types of basic bank accounts on offer.

2 Banking terms explained Term ATM BACS Balance Cashback Cash card Debit card Direct debit First right of appropriation Overdraft Standing order What it means Automated Teller Machine (or the hole in the wall ) where you can withdraw cash from your bank account. An automated payment, which sends money from one bank account to another. The total amount in your bank account. Use your card when paying for goods in shops and supermarkets to withdraw money from your bank account. Use this card to check your balance or withdraw cash. You can withdraw cash or pay for shopping with this card. Money is immediately taken from your account so don t confuse your debit card with a credit card. Make sure you have enough in your bank account. Helps you pay bills from your account. It s also a great way pay your rent, allowing the company you re paying to take the money from your account on specific dates. The company must tell you in advance if they plan to change the amount or the dates. This right means that banks are not allowed to use any benefits to clear an overdraft. You can protect any benefit payment from being used by the bank to repay an overdraft by writing to the bank. You can tell the bank that this money should only be used to pay rent to your landlord. This is a short-term measure make sure you re budgeting correctly. Lets you spend more money than is in your account but the banks usually charge interest on this. You won t get an overdraft with basic bank accounts. Another way to pay bills from your account. You ll sign a form from the company you re paying which sets out dates they ll be paid. You then give it to your bank. It s your responsibility to tell the bank about any changes to dates or amounts.

3 Request to open a bank account I would like to open a basic bank account. I do not want a cheque book or overdraft facility but I would like to be able to make direct debit/standing order payments. I do not want to open any other style of bank account and apply for any other services at this time. I have indicated below what identification I have provided. If my identification needs to be sent to a central location, please make certified copies. Do not send my original documents as per the banking code guidance. Identification You will need three pieces of identification in total (you cannot use the same item twice): One item from table A One item from table A One item from either table A or B Table A to confirm who you are Tick Table B to confirm where you live Tick Full passport European Union member state Identity Card UK photocard driving licence or UK full paper driving licence Benefit book/benefit entitlement letter e.g. State Pension, Child Benefit, Income Support, Disability Living Allowance and Job Seeker s Allowance UK photocard driving licence or UK full paper driving licence with current address (if not used as identification) Gas or electric bill (less than three months old) Water bill (less than three months old) Telephone bill for a fixed line (less than three months old). Mobile phone bills will not be accepted Local authority council tax bill (current financial year) Council rent book (must be current) HM Revenue & Customs notice of tax coding (current tax year) If a basic bank account is not available to me, please state the reason why: Please advise the following details: Bank staff full name: Bank and branch: Contact telephone number: Please clearly outline any charges I may face should I go overdrawn:

4 First right of appropriation This right means that banks are not allowed to use any benefits to clear an overdraft. You can protect any benefit payment from being used by the bank to repay an overdraft by writing to the bank. You can tell the bank that this money should only be used to pay rent to your landlord. Complete and send your bank the following information to make sure you are protected. First right of appropriation I (full name) of (address) Postcode request that any further benefit payment received into my bank account Account number from (date) can only be used to pay my rent and not for any other reason. Signature Date

5 Need further support? Please contact your housing officer, money advisor or personal assistant, or: Call: Visit our website: accordgroup.org.uk For more information, you can download the Money Advice Service basic bank accounts guide at: moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/ basic-bank-accounts

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