The Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 require the 9 largest personal current account (PCA) providers to offer basic bank accounts that are fee-free for standard operations, including a failed payment, removing the risk that customers run up unintended overdrafts. Basic bank account customers are able to use the same services (e.g. ATM and Post Office counter access) as a financial institution’s other PCA customers. These 9 institutions are: Barclays, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, Co-operative Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands), Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland (including NatWest and Ulster Bank brands), Santander, TSB.
Between January and September 2016, these institutions offered basic bank accounts under the terms of a voluntary agreement (‘the 2014 agreement’). The 2014 agreement followed extensive negotiations with the banking industry to improve basic bank accounts.
Banks have agreed to report data on basic bank accounts to the Treasury for annual publication.