UK Basic Bank Account Comparison Table

The comparison table below details all the UK personal basic bank accounts available to those who just require a simple bank account or those with adverse credit who find it difficult to open any standard UK personal bank account. We have also included ‘managed’ guaranteed bank accounts for those who have exhausted all other avenues.

Click Here If You Need A Business Account But Have Bad Credit

On a mobile device or low resolution screen you can scroll the table below left and right.

Basic bank accounts listed below all active and all external links working as of 16th Oct 2018.

Basic Bank
Account
Card
Type
Min.
age
Unpaid item feeBranch Counter AccessPost Office AccessFree ATM
Access
Restrictions/
Fees/Other Info.
Basic Current Account
eccount moneymore info
visa logo18£0 Standing Order. However, these facilities may be withdrawn if this is done more than once.
Pay in cash at 28,000
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.£12.50 opening fee/monthly fee. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted. No Direct Debits.
Basic Current Account
cardonebankingmore info
mastercard logo18No, but payment will not be made.Pay in cash or cheques at Barclays for free (max. £500 per week).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.£12.50 monthly management fee. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted.
Basic Debit Mastercard Current Account
cashplus prepaid mastercardmore info
mastercard logo18NoPay 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.Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted. Choice of account types. Fees and charges may apply.
Basic Foundation Bank Account
natwestmore info
visa logo18£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.No undischarged bankrupts.
£10 buffer.
Basic Foundation Bank Account
royalbankofscotlandmore info
visa logo18£6 (max. £60 in
charging period).
Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries. No cash/cheque deposits.As above (RBS Group Bank).No undischarged bankrupts.
£10 buffer.
Foundation Basic Current Account
ulsterbankmore info
visa logo18£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.No undischarged bankrupts. Suitable for residents of Northern Ireland as all branches are there.
Basic Current Account
lloyds bankmore info
visa logo18No. Not since 2017.Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash/cheque deposits.Yes at Lloyds Bank Cashpoint cash machines. Withdrawals at other Visa ATMs may incur a fee.No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs. Anyone from an EU country outside the UK can apply.
Basic Account
bank of scotlandmore info
visa logo18No. Not since 2017.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.No undischarged bankrupts.
Basic Account
halifaxmore info
visa logo16No. Not since 2017.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.No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs.
Readycash Current Account
yorkshire bankmore info
mastercard logo16£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.No undischarged bankrupts.
Readycash Current Account
clydesdale bankmore info
mastercard logo16£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.No undischarged bankrupts.
Barclays Basic Bank Account
barclaysmore info
visa logo18£8 (max. per day).Deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries.Cash withdrawals. No cash/cheque deposits or balance enquiries.Yes at Barclays and LINK ATMs.Undischarged bankrupts accepted.
Cashminder Basic Account
cooperative bankmore info
visa logo16£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.No undischarged bankrupts.
FlexBasic Account
nationwidemore info
visa logo18£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.No undischarged bankrupts. No IVAs.
Basic Bank Account
hsbcmore info
visa logo18Possibly £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.No undischarged bankrupts.
£10 buffer.
Danske Standard Current Account
danske bankmore info
mastercard logo18£15 per item (max. £45 per calendar month). No charge if shortfall is £5 or less.Deposits, 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%.No undischarged bankrupts. Permanent residents of Northern Ireland only.
Cash Account
metro bankmore info
mastercard logo11No 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.No CIFAS fraud flags? No Direct Debits, Standing Orders or any other outward payments.
Basic Current Account
santandermore info
visa logo16£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.No undischarged bankrupts.
Basic Cash Account
bank of ireland ukmore info
cash card16Not 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 and balance enquiries. Cash and cheque deposits (requires personalised paying in slip from Bank of Ireland).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.No undischarged bankrupts. Must apply in branch which are all in Northern Ireland so suited to residents there.
Current Account
thinkmoneymore info
mastercard logo18No. However, these facilities may be withdrawn if this is done more than once.
Pay in cash or cheques at Post Office. Can also pay in cheques by post.Cash withdrawals up to £500 per day. Cheque and cash deposits.Not necessarily. Mastercard ATMs only. No LINK ATMs. Some ATMs may charge a fee. Non-UK withdrawal fee 2%.£17.50 monthly fee. No credit checks. Undischarged bankrupts/IVAs accepted. Credit of up to £1500 available.
Personal UK Bank Accounts That Are No Longer Available Or Suitable For Those Looking For A Basic Bank Account.
Cash Transactor
yorkshire building society
more info
Basic Bank Account
first trust bank
more info
CallSave MoneyManager
coventry building society
more info
Flexaccount
nationwide
more info

Some information about Basic Bank Accounts:

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 (defaults, county court judgments (CCJs), IVA) 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 current 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. They are obliged to offer them though.

Some of the UK high street banks no longer allow you to apply directly for their basic accounts and you must apply initially for their standard current account. If you do not qualify for the standard account then you may be offered their basic account.

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 basic accounts available to undischarged bankrupts such as the Barclays Basic Bank Account, the Virgin Money Essential Current Account, possibly the Nationwide FlexBasic Basic Account as well as the managed eccount, cardone and cashplus accounts. However, anyone with a CIFAS fraud flag on their credit file is still likely to be refused by the high street banks.

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 actual banks before making an application for a basic account.

Applicant must be at least 18 years old unless otherwise stated. All accounts require ID and address verification and all high street banks will almost certainly refuse you any account should you have any CIFAS fraud flags on your credit file.

Many 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 basic 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 above.

One such account is the Post Office Card Account suitable for those in receipt of benefits/pensions/tax credits.

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.

Some banks will not allow you to open a basic account should you already have an account with another institution. Nationwide is one such bank.

To open any of the above accounts including the guaranteed managed ones such as the Tuxedo eccount guaranteed acceptance current account or the CardOneBanking current 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 generally able to open basic accounts using their overseas passports/ID cards as acceptable forms of ID.