Move Your Money helping social enterprise to offer alternative to ‘useless’ Basic Bank Accounts

Move Your Money helping social enterprise to offer alternative to ‘useless’ Basic Bank Accounts
Economic Voice
29.08.12

Move Your Money has teamed up with London Rebuilding Society, a social enterprise that offers fair and affordable financial services to people excluded by conventional banks, to offer an alternative current accounts for people excluded by the big banks.

For just a pound a week, the ‘Change Account’ will offer customers a full range of services including direct debits, standing orders, a visa prepaid debit card, budgeting facility and full mobile banking but with no hidden fees or charges.

The Change Account, available later this year, is being launched hot off the heels new research by Which? shattering the myth of ‘free’ banking. The research found that some consumers are paying up to £900 a year just for going overdrawn as well as missing out on hundreds of pounds of interest.

Danni Paffard of Move Your Money UK said:

“The launch of the Change Account only goes to show how far behind our dinosaur banks have fallen. Despite the fact that banking services are an absolute necessity the big banks have ignored millions of low-income customers because they don’t think they are worth serving. That’s why its so great to see a social enterprise proving that, with a little innovation and by putting customers first, you can deliver fair and affordable banking services.”

Later in the year other financial providers which Move Your Money are promoting, such as building societies, credit unions and ethical banks, will be offering their customers a Move Your Money bank card (image below).

Steve Round, Chairman of London Rebuilding Society said:

“There are over 3 million people in the UK who either don’t have a bank account or are stuck on a basic bank account which simply isn’t fit for purpose with millions more with accounts which are inappropriate for their needs. These families, who tend to be on low incomes, are paying up to a £1000 pounds a year more for their fuel and food because they don’t have access to the right payment services. Even if they can get a proper account many refuse because they know they will be hit with unfair fees and charges which could tip them over into a spiral of debt.

The Change Account is a real alternative to a basic bank account. It is available to anyone, no matter what their income or credit rating, offers all the services a normal current account does for just £1 a week with no hidden costs, fees or charges.”

The introduction of the Change Account comes at a critical time for the retail banking sector.

The introduction of Universal Credit in 2013 means all benefit recipients will receive a single monthly payment into their account on behalf of the entire household. This means that it’s vital that households have access to proper payment services which enable them to manage their money.

There has also been fierce debate about the future of ‘free banking’ over the last few weeks with senior officials at the Bank of England suggesting that it is a ‘dangerous myth’ which means a worse deal for consumers.

Andrew Graham, a 24 year old from France living in London is planning to open a Change Account:

“It’s ridiculous, I’ve been to all the big banks and despite having a regular income they will only offer me a basic bank account. It means I can’t get direct debits so miss out on good deals, or even use my card in shops or the internet, and where I live there are barely any ATMS so I often have to pay to withdraw cash. It’s a real stigma. It’s great to hear that I will be able to open an account which is actually useful!”

Steve Round continued:

“One of the things we’re most excited about is offering the Change Account through people’s TV’s so that older consumers who wouldn’t usually trust online services can do their banking from the comfort of their own home.”

Later in the year a consortium of national charities and advice bodies will be announcing that they will also offer the Change Account.