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UK customers have 7 million basic bank accounts

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Figures from the British Bankers Association show that there are over 7 million ‘basic functionality’ accounts being used by UK customers.

Since Universal Banking began in April 2003, 2.7 million accounts have been opened, around half of which were customers with no previous banking relationship and more than 320,000 accounts have been upgraded.

The latest quarter saw 167,511 accounts opened net, and 25,255 existing accounts upgraded.

David Dooks, BBA director of statistics, said: “Basic bank accounts are effective in improving financial access. Some 50,000 new accounts are opened each month and the Action Plan for Financial Inclusion report recognised that one third of accounts are used to make electronic payments and 40% of account holders see their account as a safe home for their money, withdrawing cash from ATMs 3 or more times a month.

“A basic account also provides greater awareness of other banking products – more than 8,000 basic accounts a month are upgraded to more fully-featured accounts and, as the Action Plan for Financial Inclusion report acknowledges, 1 in 5 basic account holders have opened savings accounts.”

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