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Basic banking access continues to improve

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There were 341,300 basic bank accounts opened in the first quarter of this year, taking the total to 7.3m among UK consumers, according to figures out today.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) revealed 3.2m Post Office accessible accounts have now been opened since April 2003, half of which were set up for customers with no previous banking relationship.

A total of 16 banks currently offer accounts that can be accessed through Post Office counters and Post Office Card Accounts continue to a major method of payment for Government benefit and tax credits, according to the BBA. Such accounts are designed for people who might not meet the criteria for opening a standard current account or who want to ensure they can’t overdraw their account.

David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, said: “The 341,000 accounts opened in the first quarter, which includes 197,200 opened by Halifax for customers previously holding non-post-office accessible accounts, show that basic bank accounts continue to be an important and popular product, providing effective access to banking.”

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