Citizens Advice response to Insolvency Service consultation
17 November 2011
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice, said: "For far too long, all but two of the major banks have persisted in excluding undischarged bankrupts from opening a basic bank account. This is a serious issue for the many clients we advise each year on this problem, who are already struggling because of major financial setbacks. Their problems are often triggered by sudden changes to their circumstances, such as ill health.
"Without access to a bank account, it can become almost impossible to process wages or benefits, cash cheques and pay bills. This can impact on the individual, their family, and on wider society as it creates unhelpful barriers to employment.
"So we strongly recommend that the Insolvency Service takes legislative action to stop banks denying people in financial need this essential service."
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
- Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.