The number of adults living in households with no access to a bank account has been more than halved – a goal that was first set five years ago by the Government and the UK's banks.
The shared target was agreed in December 2004 and the latest report on access to banking by the Financial Inclusion Taskforce shows that the number has fallen from two million in 2003/04 to fewer than 900,000 in 2007/08.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said: "We welcome the announcement that this very important goal has now been achieved.
"The shared goal is a great example of government, industry and third sector partners working together to ensure that everyone can access the financial services they need to get by day-to-day."
Halving the amount of adults without access to a bank account is part of the Government's policy to ensure that everyone in the UK has access to appropriate financial services.
This includes being able to manage money on a daily basis; planning for the future and dealing with financial pressure; and dealing effectively with distress caused by money worries.
"This is extremely good news and it means that many more people can now use transactional banking to make and receive payments as well as holding their money in a secure and accessible way," Brian Pomeroy, chair of the Financial Inclusion Taskforce said.
"It is important that these gains are not lost and the Taskforce has called on Government, the banks and the FSA to ensure that the standards of service in bank branches are upheld and scrutinised. And we must not lose sight of the possibilities for making further inroads into the number of people who are unbanked."
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