UK Basic Bank Account Comparison Table

Many people in the UK don’t have a personal bank account. Some of those people find it difficult to open a standard current account with a full function debit card, cheque book and overdraft facility because of either a previous bad credit history or a low credit score due to them not being in full time employment, not being on the electoral register or not owning their own home, for example.

To overcome this problem UK banks are obliged to offer stripped down versions of their current accounts without the overdraft, cheque book or fully functioning debit card. These accounts are called basic bank accounts. Many of them still come with debit cards (real time authorisation type) and most of the facilities that the standard accounts provide such as online/telephone banking and Direct Debits/standing orders. Banks don’t really publicise these accounts as they are not a profitable service to offer. Despite the accounts being easy to obtain, the banks are still required to carry out identity and residency checks which could still be an issue for some individuals.

There are even accounts available to undischarged bankrupts. However, anyone with a CIFAS fraud flag on their credit file is still likely to be refused by the high street banks.

See the basic bank account comparison table below for details of the accounts available including the ‘managed’ guaranteed accounts for those who have exhausted all other avenues.

black diamond visa

Representative example. Purchase annual interest rate 59.94% (variable). Amount of credit £250. Representative 59.9% APR (variable).

Basic Bank
Account
Card
Type
Min.
age
Buffer
Unpaid item fee
Branch Counter Access
Post Office Access
Free ATM
Access
Restrictions/
Fees/Other Info.
Apply
Current Account
secure trust bankmore info
mastercard logo18NoNoPay in cash or cheques at Barclays for free. Can use most other banks for a fee. Pay in cash at 20,000 Payzone outlets.NoNo. £0.50/£2.25 UK/Non-UK withdrawal fee. MasterCard ATMs only. No LINK ATMs. Some ATMs may charge a fee.Proof of identity and address/residency required. £12.50 set-up fee/monthly fee. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted.apply now
Personal Account
thinkmoneymore info
mastercard logo18NoNo. However, these facilities may be withdrawn if this is done more than once.
Pay in cash or cheques at NatWest / RBS for free.NoNot necessarily. MasterCard ATMs only. No LINK ATMs. Some ATMs may charge a fee. Non-UK withdrawal fee 2%.Proof of identity and address/residency required. £14.50 monthly fee. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted.apply now
Current Account
cardonebankingmore info
mastercard logo18NoNoPay in cash or cheques at Barclays for free.Pay in cash
(£1 fee). Can't deposit cheques.
No. £1.50/£3.00 +2.75% UK/Non-UK withdrawal fee. MasterCard ATMs only. No LINK ATMs. Some ATMs may charge a fee.Proof of identity and address/residency required. £12.50 monthly management fee. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted. No Direct Debits.apply now
Prepaid Debit Card Account
more info
mastercard logo18NoNoPay in cash at 1600 Cashplus stores for free or epay outlets for £3.Pay in cash
for free.
Generally no. MasterCard ATMs only. No LINK ATMs. Most account holders will pay a £2.00 UK withdrawal fee. All withdrawals abroad incur a fee of £3.00. Some ATMs may charge a fee.Proof of identity and address/residency required. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted. Choice of account types. Fees and charges may apply.apply now
Basic Current Account
eccount moneymore info
visa logo18No£5 Direct Debit. £0 Standing Order. However, these facilities may be withdrawn if this is done more than once.
Pay in cash at 23,000
PayPoint locations (3%).
Pay in cash
for free.
No. UK/Overseas ATM withdrawal fee £0.50/£2.25. Visa ATMs only. No LINK ATMs. Some ATMs may charge a fee.Proof of identity and address/residency required. £12.50 opening fee/monthly fee. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted.apply now
Basic Account
natwestmore info
visa logo18£10£6 (max. £60 in
charging period).
Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes but ONLY RBS Group ATMs can be used in the UK (NatWest, RBS or Ulster Bank branded). Withdrawals abroad can be carried out at any Visa ATM subject to fees/charges.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Basic Account
royalbankofscotlandmore info
visa logo18£10£6 (max. £60 in
charging period).
Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.As above (RBS Group Bank).Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Step Account
ulsterbankmore info
visa logo18No£10 (max. £100 in
charging period).
Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes at RBS Group ATMs (NatWest, RBS or Ulster Bank). Withdrawals at other Visa ATMs may incur a fee.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags. Suitable for residents of Northern Ireland as all branches are there.apply now
Cash Account
lloyds tsbmore info
visa logo18£10£10 (max. 3 items
per day).
Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash/cheque deposits.Yes at Lloyds TSB, Halifax or Bank of Scotland cash machines. Withdrawals at other Visa ATMs may incur a fee.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Cash Card Account
barclaysmore info
visa logo18No£8 (max. per day).Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals. No cash/cheque deposits or balance enquiries.Yes at Barclays and LINK ATMs.Proof of identity and address required. Undischarged bankrupts accepted. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Cash Account
bank of scotlandmore info
visa logo18£10£10 (up to 3 times
per day).
Deposits, balance enquiries. No withdrawals.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes but ONLY Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds TSB or Sainsbury’s cash machines can be used in the UK.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Cashminder
cooperative bankmore info
visa logo16No£15 (max. £150 per quarter) (possibility that 3 failed payments could result in the account being closed).Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash/cheque deposits.Yes at ATMs displaying the LINK symbol. Withdrawals from VISA/PLUS ONLY ATMs will incur a fee.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
FlexAccount
nationwidemore info
visa logo16No£15Deposits, withdrawals (min. £100). No balance enquiries/mini statements.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes if using a Nationwide cash machines. Withdrawals from VISA/PLUS ATMs may incur a fee.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Cash Card
nationwidemore info
visa logo18No£15Deposits, withdrawals (min. £100). No balance enquiries/mini statements.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes if using a Nationwide cash machines. Withdrawals from VISA/PLUS ATMs may incur a fee.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Basic Bank Account
hsbcmore info
visa logo18£10Possibly £0 but not specified in T&Cs (possibility that 3 failed payments could result in the account being closed).Deposits. No withdrawals. Balance enquiries?Cash withdrawals, cash deposits. No cheque deposits. Balance enquiries?Yes at most ATMs in the UK. Some ATMs may charge a fee. Overseas ATM cash withdrawals are subject to fees and charges.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Readycash
yorkshire bankmore info
maestro logo16No£35Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes if using a Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank ATM. Withdrawals from other Maestro branded ATMs may incur a fee. Non-UK withdrawals are subject to fees.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Readycash
clydesdale bankmore info
maestro logo16No£35Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash/cheque deposits.Yes if using a Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank ATM. Withdrawals from other Maestro branded ATMs may incur a fee. Non-UK withdrawals are subject to fees.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Basic Banking
danske bankmore info
maestro logo18NoNoDeposits, withdrawals (4 free per month). No balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash deposits, cheque (Northern Ireland Post Offices only) deposits.Yes if using a Danske Bank ATM. Although usually free to use, withdrawals from other Maestro branded ATMs in the UK may incur a fee. Withdrawal fee abroad at Maestro ATMs is 2.75%.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags. Permanent residents of Northern Ireland only.apply now
Easycash
halifaxmore info
visa electron logo16£10£10 (max. 3 items
per day).
Cash withdrawals (min. £300 unless balance is £10 or less). No deposits or balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash/cheque deposits.Yes at Halifax and Bank of Scotland cash machines or ATMs displaying the LINK symbol. Although mostly free to use, some LINK cash machines may charge a fee.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Cash Account
metro bankmore info
mastercard logo11NoNo outward
payments.
Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.NoYes at Metro Bank UK ATMs and, usually free of charge, ATMs that display the MasterCard or LINK symbol.Proof of identity and address required. No CIFAS fraud flags? No Direct Debits, Standing Orders or any other outward payments.apply now
CallSave MoneyManager
coventry building societymore info
cash card16No£20Deposits, balance enquiries. No withdrawals.NoYes, in UK. Coventry BS ATMs and LINK, VISA and PLUS branded cash machines can be used. Most of these are free to use. The withdrawal charge abroad at VISA and PLUS ATMs is 2%.Proof of identity and address required.apply now
Basic Current Account
santandermore info
cash card16No£25Deposits, withdrawals (min. £300), balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes at Santander cash machines and LINK ATMs. Most LINK cash machines are free to use.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags.apply now
Basic Cash Account
bank of ireland ukmore info
cash card16NoNot explicitly specified in T&Cs (could be £21 + £21 = £42) but 3 failed payments within 12 months will result in the account being closed.Deposits?
Cash withdrawals?
Balance enquiries?
Cash withdrawals (1 withdrawal allowed per day), balance enquiries. Cash/cheque deposits?Yes at Bank of Ireland, First Trust, Ulster Bank and Danske Bank cash machines in Ireland or LINK cash machines anywhere in the UK. Most LINK cash machines are free to use.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags. Must apply in branch which are all in Northern Ireland so suited to residents there.apply now
Basic Bank Account
first trust bankmore info
cash card16£9.99£35NoCash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.Yes at First Trust Bank Banklink cash machines, certain First Trust Bank euro cash machines in Northern Ireland and AIB cash machines in the Republic of Ireland.Proof of identity and address required. No undischarged bankrupts. No CIFAS fraud flags. Suitable for residents of Northern Ireland as all branches are there. No Standing Orders.apply now
Cash Transactor
yorkshire building societymore info
cash card16No£20Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.NoYes. Only LINK branded cash machines can be used. Most of these are free to use.Proof of identity and address required. Minimum opening balance of £100 is required. This can be withdrawn once account is opened.apply now

Notes:

Branch Access information has been obtained from the Bank/Building Society/Financial Company websites directly and some other crossing referencing.

Post Office Counter Access information has been obtained from the Post Office website and this Post Office document.

Our comparison table should be used as a guide only and we make no guarantees about the information presented. Applicants are advised to check the details with the banks before making an application for an account.

Other UK Bank/Building Society accounts are available that allow someone with an adverse credit history to carry out very basic money management. These include savings and other accounts. However, as they don’t really offer what one would call ‘proper’ banking facilities such as Direct Debits or Standing Orders then they haven’t been included in our comparison table.

A few such accounts include the Post Office Card Account for those in receipt of benefits/pensions/tax credits and the Derbyshire Cash Account.

Some debit cards such as the Visa debit card that comes with the NatWest basic account, for example, may not work at petrol pumps as these particular cards require real time authorisation.

All the accounts listed offer Direct Debit and Standing Order facilities unless otherwise specified.

Unless otherwise stated none of the accounts require a minimum opening balance.

The ‘Buffer Zone’ amount is the amount by which you can go overdrawn without incurring any unauthorised overdraft fees.

Cash withdrawals at Post Offices (where this service is available) can be carried out free of charge.

To open any of the above accounts including the guaranteed managed ones such as the thinkmoney account, applicants need to provide proof of identity and proof of address. Proofs of identity usually mean photo ID such as a passport or driving licence and proof of address could be a council tax or utility bill, for example. The relevant bank will provide a list of acceptable documents. Also see the ID Handbook for full details about providing ID.

Although banks will not generally carry out a credit check with a credit reference agency when someone applies for a basic account, they may make an electronic identity check which can often be used as an acceptable alternative to providing hard copies of ID.

Foreign nationals residing in the UK (students, for example) are also able to open basic accounts using their overseas passports/ID cards as acceptable forms of ID.

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Thank you for visiting our website.

As well as the basic bank accounts you may also be interested in some of the best adverse credit solutions listed below.

Shout Visa Credit Card
Click on image below

shout credit card
Representative Example:

If you spent £300 on a purchase transaction at the
start of your agreement, incurred total monthly
charges of £540 over a period of 20 months and
made repayments in accordance with your Terms &
Conditions, your APR would be 627% APR
representative (variable)

Shout Visa Credit Card

This Visa credit card is aimed at those with an adverse credit history.

The monthly fee is £15 for each £100 borrowed or part thereof.

If the balance is £0.00 there is a £3.50 monthly fee.

The minimum repayment is 10% of the outstanding balance
each month.

Credit limits start at £300.

A debit card is required to apply for the card as this is used to
make the monthly repayments.
Vanquis Visa Credit Card
Click on image below

vanquis credit card
Representative Example:

Purchase annual interest rate 39.94% (variable). Amount of credit £1000. Representative 39.9% APR (variable)

Vanquis Visa Credit Card

This card is designed for those with an adverse credit history. The initial credit limit is from £150 to £1000. There is the possibility of a credit limit increase on the fourth statement and further increases every four months up to £3000. There are no annual or monthly fees.
Black Diamond Visa Credit Card
Click on image below

black diamond credit card
Representative Example:

Purchase annual interest rate 59.94% (variable).
Amount of credit £250. Representative 59.9% APR (variable)

Black Diamond Visa Credit Card

This UK Visa credit card issued by Vanquis Bank is aimed at those
with a less than perfect credit history and comes with an initial
credit limit from £150 to £1000.

There is the possibility of a credit limit increase on the fourth
statement and further increases every four months up to £3000.

There are no annual or monthly fees.
Orange Cash Prepaid MasterCard
Click on image below

orange prepaid card
Orange Cash Prepaid MasterCard

The Orange Cash card is a prepaid MasterCard that can be used
to pay for goods and services and withdraw cash anywhere there
is a MasterCard logo.

There are no credit checks and it is 100% guaranteed.

The cards are issued by Barclays Bank.

Loading is free at EE shops or by bank account/debit card.

It is available to anyone over 13.

The card costs £5. There are no monthly fees and no purchase
fees in the UK.

Money can be managed on the move with the free Orange Cash
app (Android Smartphones only).
Our 2 Most Popular Guaranteed Managed Bank Accounts
Secure Trust Bank Current Account
Click on image below

secure trust bank
thinkmoney Personal Account
Click on image below

thinkmoney