What is a basic bank account?

A basic bank account is a good option if you have a bad credit score. They allow you to pay in your wages, benefits, tax credits, state pension and give you a cash card to withdraw your money. Some also offer standing orders, direct debits and a debit card.

You’ll find, however, that you won’t have access to any form of credit – so this means no overdraft facilities.

Select from the filters to refine your results and find what you are looking for Show
Select from the filters to refine your results and find what you are looking for:

Bank of Ireland UK Logo
Bank of Ireland UK Basic Cash Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Not Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Not Available
Additional Information
Direct debits, standing orders and cash card
Account can be opened only in branch
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 16 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Withdrawal Limit
£500

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
N/A
Transaction Charge
N/A
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% / 2.75%
Transaction Charge
£1.50 / £1.50

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 72% 1 day 6 days
Get a debit card 0% 10 days 38 days
Get internet banking 0% 6 days 8 days
Get an overdraft 0% 6 days 15 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 7 days 57 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft

Benefits

Some benefits might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Bank of Scotland Logo
Bank of Scotland Basic Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Manage via Smartphone App
No Credit Interest Paid
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 18 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£500

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.99% / 2.99%
Transaction Charge
£0.50 / £0.50
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.99% / 2.99%
Transaction Charge
£1.50 / £1.50

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 98% 0 days 1 day
Get a debit card 0% 5 days 7 days
Get internet banking 50% 1 day 4 days
Get an overdraft 100% 0 days 0 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 3 days 6 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Day
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Other benefits, as well as those shown, might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Cashback on debit card purchases
- Everyday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card. Customers must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Bank of Scotland current account to be eligible.
Cashback on operating account
- Everyday Offers - Earn a one-off cashback amount when take out a Direct Debit subscription with participating retailers. Customers must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Bank of Scotland current account to be eligible.
Exclusive offers with this account
- Free entry into 'It’s on Us', for the chance to have any transaction up to £500 refunded, drawn per month.
Barclays Bank Logo
Barclays Bank Basic Current Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Manage via Smartphone App
No credit interest
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 18 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£300

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% Charges levied at time of transaction / 2.75% Charges levied at time of transaction
Transaction Charge
£0.00 / £0.00
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% Charges levied at time of transaction / 2.75% Charges levied at time of transaction
Transaction Charge
£0.00 Charges levied at time of transaction / £0.00 Charges levied at time of transaction

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 86% 1 day 8 days
Get a debit card 0% 4 days 8 days
Get internet banking 0% 4 days 6 days
Get an overdraft 31% 8 days 56 days
Replace a lost debit card 2% 3 days 5 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft

Benefits

Other benefits, as well as those shown, might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Exclusive offers with this account
- Eligible for Barclays Cashback, earn cashback and discounts on goods, services and travel. Customers must use online or mobile banking to qualify.
Exclusive offers with this account
- Free personalised debit card. You can upload own pictures or choose from extensive online gallery.
Clydesdale Bank Logo
Clydesdale Bank Readycash FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Operate via web, phone or post
No credit interest
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 16 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Mastercard
Withdrawal Limit
£350

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£1.00+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
£0.00 / £0.00
Transaction Charge
2.75% (Min £1.50) / 2.75% (Min £1.50)
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
£0.00 / £0.00
Transaction Charge
3.75% (Min £1.50) / 3.75% (Min £1.50)

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 88% 1 day 13 days
Get a debit card 0% 4 days 6 days
Get internet banking 100% 0 days 0 days
Get an overdraft 0% 5 days 9 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 4 days 7 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Month
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Some benefits might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Halifax Logo
Halifax Basic Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Manage via Smartphone App
No credit interest
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 18 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Account Sweeping
Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£500

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.99% / 2.99%
Transaction Charge
£0.50 / £0.50
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.99% / 2.99%
Transaction Charge
£1.50 / £1.50

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 97% 0 days 2 days
Get a debit card 0% 5 days 7 days
Get internet banking 23% 2 days 5 days
Get an overdraft 100% 0 days 0 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 3 days 6 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Day
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Other benefits, as well as those shown, might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Cashback on debit card purchases
- Cashback Extras - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Halifax credit or debit card. Customers must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Halifax current account to be eligible.
Cashback on operating account
- Cashback Extras - Earn a one-off cashback amount when take out a Direct Debit subscription with participating retailers. Customers must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Halifax current account to be eligible.
HSBC Logo
HSBC Basic Bank Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Can be managed at Post Offices
No account benefits
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 16 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£300

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% / 2.75%
Transaction Charge
£0.00 / £0.00
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% / 2.75%
Transaction Charge
2.00% (Min £1.75, max £5.00) / 2.00% (Min £1.75, max £5.00)

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 56% 1 day 12 days
Get a debit card 0% 6 days 19 days
Get internet banking 56% 2 days 7 days
Get an overdraft 99% 0 days 0 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 3 days 6 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Month
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Other benefits, as well as those shown, might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Exclusive offers with this account
- Free 12 month Fan Membership with British Cycling (worth £24) giving retail discounts, priority tickets to cycling events and a newsletter. The Fan Membership fee will be deducted from the annual Race/Ride/Commute Membership fee when upgrading. Existing members of British Cycling can claim a free gift of equivalent value. Membership must be activated by 31.12.19.
Lloyds Bank Logo
Lloyds Bank Basic Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Manage via web and Smartphone App
No credit interest
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 18 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£500

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.99% / 2.99%
Transaction Charge
£0.50 / £0.50
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.99% / 2.99%
Transaction Charge
£1.50 / £1.50

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 97% 0 days 2 days
Get a debit card 0% 5 days 7 days
Get internet banking 34% 2 days 4 days
Get an overdraft 100% 0 days 0 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 3 days 6 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Day
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Other benefits, as well as those shown, might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Cashback on debit card purchases
- Everyday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Lloyds Bank credit or debit card. Customers must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Lloyds Bank current account to be eligible.
Cashback on operating account
- Everyday Offers - Earn a one-off cashback amount when take out a Direct Debit subscription with participating retailers. Customers must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Lloyds Bank current account to be eligible.
Exclusive offers with this account
- Free entry into 'It’s on Us', for the chance to have any transaction up to £500 refunded, drawn per month.
Buildings Insurance - preferential terms
- 5% discount on new home insurance when purchased online or by telephone.
Contents Insurance - preferential terms
- 5% discount on new home insurance when purchased online or by telephone.
Metro Bank Logo
Metro Bank Cash Account FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Not Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Available from age 11
No Standing Order facility until age 16
Account can only be opened in branch
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 11 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Standing Orders
Debit Card
Mastercard
Withdrawal Limit
£300

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
/
Transaction Charge
/
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
0.00% (Only via LINK ATMs) / 2.99% (Only via LINK ATMs)
Transaction Charge
£0.00 (Only via LINK ATMs) / £1.50 (Only via LINK ATMs)

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 95% 0 days 5 days
Get a debit card 78% 1 day 7 days
Get internet banking 100% 0 days 0 days
Get an overdraft 100% 0 days 0 days
Replace a lost debit card 94% 0 days 4 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft

Benefits

Some benefits might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Nationwide BS Logo
Nationwide BS FlexBasic FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Not Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Debit card, Direct debits, standing orders
No credit interest paid
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 18 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£500

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£1.00+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% / 2.75%
Transaction Charge
£0.00 / £0.00
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% / 2.75%
Transaction Charge
£1.00 / £1.00

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 100% 0 days 0 days
Get a debit card 0% 8 days 12 days
Get internet banking 0% 8 days 14 days
Get an overdraft 0% 3 days 6 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 6 days 9 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Month
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Some benefits might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
NatWest Logo
NatWest Foundation FSCS logo
FSCS logo
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
N/A
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available At Post Office Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile Text Alerts Available
Additional Information
Open via phone or branch
From age 18 only
Switch Service Guarantee member
Representative Example:N/A
General
Credit Interest Rates
Foreign Usage
Service Performance
Overdraft's
Benefits

General Account Details

Funding Required
None
Minimum / Maximum Age
Min 18 Years
Eligibility
None
Account Fee
None
Introductory Account Fee
None

Facilities

Direct Debits
Standing Orders
Switch Service Guarantee
Debit Card
Visa
Withdrawal Limit
£300

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Foreign Usage Charges

Debit card payment in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
0.00% / 0.00%
Transaction Charge
2.75% (Min £1.00) / 2.75% (Min £1.00)
Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency in Europe / Worldwide
Currency Conversion Charge
2.75% / 2.75%
Transaction Charge
2.00% (Min £2.00, max £5.00) / 2.00% (Min £2.00, max £5.00)

Service Performance

The table below shows the provider's current account service performance.
The information shown covers all of their main current accounts, not just specific to this account.
Service Completed
Same day Average 99%
Open a current account* 0% 1 day 1 day
Get a debit card 0% 3 days 5 days
Get internet banking 0% 8 days 8 days
Get an overdraft 100% 0 days 0 days
Replace a lost debit card 0% 4 days 16 days
* Once all requested documents and information have been received.

Overdrafts

Introductory Arranged Overdraft
Introductory Arranged on
Switched Current Accounts
N/A
N/A
Arranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft
Unarranged Overdraft Available
Min. Balance
Rate %
EAR %
£0.01
0.00% - Per Month
0.00%
Fee
N/A
Paid Referral Fee
N/A
Grace Period
N/A
Interest Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer
N/A
Monthly Maximum Charge
N/A

Benefits

Other benefits, as well as those shown, might be available on this account. A full list of benefits will be included in the terms and conditions of the account.
Emergency Cash Service
- Free 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
Note

Eligible deposits with UK institutions are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to a maximum level of protection of £85,000 per person per institution. Our data experts work tirelessly to make sure the rates and information we show are up to date and correct. Moneyfacts.co.uk Limited is an independent credit broker not a lender. We will receive a payment from credit providers where customers link to them from Moneyfacts.co.uk. None of these arrangements affects our independence.

Disclaimer

All overdrafts are subject to the applicant’s status. You may not be offered credit. All rates and fees are subject to change without notice. Please check all rates and terms before borrowing.

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Bank Accounts for Bad Credit

nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer

At a glance

  • Specially designed for those with a bad credit score, including county court judgements (CCJs) for debt.
  • These have no overdraft facilities, so you can only use the balance in your account.
  • Normally free (although certain actions may attract a charge).
  • Basic bank accounts typically provide you with a debit or ATM card.

 

Not being able to obtain a current account because of a bad credit history can be a real problem. However, don’t despair. If you are worried that banks and building societies will reject your application for a current account, there are other options out there. These are designed to give you access to a bank account where you do not meet the credit checks and approvals needed for a standard current account.

Basic bank accounts explained

These basic bank accounts are specifically designed for people with a less than ideal credit score.

The main points about applying for a basic bank account:

  • They are usually free
  • You won’t have to pass a credit check (although a credit check may still be carried out)
  • You’ll still need to provide identification to open this type of account. Most providers need two forms of ID, one to prove your identity and another to prove your address
  • Typically, these accounts pay no interest
  • Many offer the use of a debit card or cashpoint card, as these can only be used if you have enough credit in the account
  • You will not receive a cheque book
  • These accounts will not have any overdraft facility
  • They may only be available to those with bad credit scores – ordinary customers may not even be offered these products.

If you are currently struggling with debt, you may find the following guides helpful:

How do I apply for a basic bank account?

Many banks don’t actively advertise that they provide basic bank accounts. Essentially, this is because they make no profit on these types of account. This means you’ll often have to ask about these by name – or, if you are lucky, the bank themselves might offer this as an alternative if you’ve been rejected for a normal current account.

The application process is normally straightforward. You will need to provide proof of your ID (such as a passport or UK driving licence). You may also have to provide proof of your address – if you have problems with this, take a look at our Can you open an account without proof of address guide.

Normally, you can apply in person at a branch, online or by post or telephone. Needless to say, you’ll be asked to provide proof of ID before the account is formally opened.

Will I need to have a credit check for a basic bank account?

Possibly. Most basic bank accounts are designed for those who already have a bad credit score, so they already know that there are issues in this area. However, some providers ask you to apply for their standard account and go through the usual credit checks before they will offer the basic account. Providers will also need to check your identity.

Can I be refused a basic bank account?

Yes, but normally this is due to serious issues in your past, such as a criminal conviction – especially for any fraud-related offences.

You will also be refused if you cannot provide the ID that a provider requires or there are issues with the ID you have already provided (such as it is discovered to be fake or has been altered with the intention to deceive).

Which banks offer basic bank accounts?

The largest nine bank account providers are obliged under The Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 to offer basic bank accounts that are free for day-to-day operations.

While it appears there are more on the list below, many of these banks all sit under the same banking group. At the time of writing, the following bank and building society brands that offer basic bank accounts are:

Provider

Account/option name

Bank of Ireland UK

Basic Cash Account

Bank of Scotland

Basic Account

Barclays Bank

Basic Current Account

Clydesdale Bank

Readycash

Halifax

Basic Account

HSBC

Basic Bank Account

Lloyds Bank

Basic Account

Metro Bank

Cash Account

Nationwide BS

FlexBasic

NatWest

Foundation

Royal Bank of Scotland

Foundation

Santander

Basic Current Account

The Co-operative Bank

Cashminder

TSB

Cash Account

Ulster Bank

Foundation Account

Yorkshire Bank

Readycash

To look at and compare the various products being offered, take a look at our whole of market basic bank account comparison tables above.

 

Is there an alternative to having an account from a bank or building society?

Yes. There are a couple of alternatives to basic bank accounts:

  • Credit union – These organisations are community savings and loan providers. They can sometimes offer you banking facilities for which you will be charged a small amount each month. Some also insist that you keep a minimum balance in your account. Usually, you will need to know someone who is already a member to apply.
  • Post office card accounts – These are offered as a place where your benefits are paid into. You are issued a card that allows you to withdraw funds if you have monies in the account. You cannot set up direct debits or standing orders, nor does this account accept any other income payments.
  • Guaranteed bank accounts – Guaranteed bank accounts do not require a credit check to open. This makes them ideal for people with a poor credit rating, or those who haven't been in the UK long enough to develop a credit history. One of the reasons these accounts are able to forgo a credit check is because they generally do not offer overdraft facilities and limit the amount of money available to customers.

How can I improve my credit rating to get a better bank account?

Basic bank accounts – as the name implies – are very limited in terms of the services you can be offered. Consequently, you may want to be able to move to a normal current account as soon as you can.

We have a series of guides covering credit checks, including our Guide to credit checks and How to improve your credit score.

To find out your current credit score, simply apply today for your free ClearScore Credit Report.

Who are basic bank accounts good for?

As they are free and don't let you get into debt with an overdraft, basic bank accounts are suitable for:

  • Young people opening their first current account.
  • People who don't want the temptation of spending more than they earn.
  • People who have had debt problems in the past.

Are there any risks with basic bank accounts?

  • There is no overdraft facility available – if you set up direct debits that cannot be paid, you may incur charges from the company you were meant to pay.
  • Basic bank accounts generally don’t pay you credit interest, so if your balance grows then you need to move this to a savings account.

Pros and cons of basic bank accounts

  • These accounts are generally free.
  • The bank doesn’t usually charge fees for failed payments – However you may incur extra fees from whoever the DD was paying.
  • Basic bank accounts give you access to modern banking and a place for wages or benefits to be paid into.
  • Most offer a debit card for paying for goods and services or, at minimum, a cashpoint card that enables you to use ATMs to withdraw cash and make deposits.
  • There are no credit facilities, including no overdrafts.
  • No credit interest is paid.

Moneyfacts tip

Moneyfacts tip nigel woollsey

Basic bank accounts will still charge you for out of the ordinary things – such as using your debit card while abroad. Be careful that you know what actions will attract charges and avoid doing these if possible

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