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Poor can’t bank on banks for finance

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06/03/2006

A report from the New Economic Foundation (NEF) has criticised the big banks for failing to cater for the poor and leaving them at the mercy of loan sharks.

NEF said that the ability to open a bank account was a fundamental right and essential if someone is to participate fully in economic life.

Whitni Thomas, head of access to finance at NEF, said: “The banks are cherry picking the most valuable customers for premium accounts and only paying lip service to tackling financial exclusion.”

City analyst Colin Perry said: “Everyone should have an equal right to a bank account, but that simply isn’t the case. People are excluded by reason of low income and, as long as that inequality remains, the retail banking sector will be mainly for the better off.”

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