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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:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service 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 see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. 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.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.