Reasons why you might need a bank account

1. Automatically pay bills
– Rather than remembering when you need to pay bills every month, having an account means you can automate payments to come out at a fixed time, so you’ll never forget. 

2. Keep your cash safe
– While keeping your money under the mattress may feel like a safe place - it’s not protected from things like a fire, flood or theft. In a bank however, your money is insured, which means it’s safe.

3. Get your wages
- Many employers will only pay your wages into a bank account, instead of giving you your wages in cash, which is sometimes called 'cash-in-hand payment', so having one means there are more places for you to try when you’re looking for a job.

4. Statements
- Managing your money is easier when you can see what you’re spending it on. Every month you’ll receive a statement through the post – or you can look online – this lists when and where money goes out and comes in.

5. Debt free living
- With many basic bank accounts, they’ll tell you when you try to get money out at a cashpoint or pay for something that you’re out of cash, so you don’t have to worry about getting into debt – on some accounts you can even set up an alert, so if you’re getting near empty, you get a text to warn you.

6. Mobile banking
- Need to lend your friend some cash but the banks are closed? You can now use apps on your smartphone to transfer cash to friends or family instantly and keep an eye on your balance to see how much money you have in your account.

7. Receive benefits
- The government has stopped paying benefits via cheque – so having a bank account makes it essential for receiving your money if you’ve signed up to receive benefits.

8. Shop online
- Having an account means you can pay for things – in many cases cheaper than on the high street – online, saving time and money.

9. Safe from thieves
- Carrying cash in your pocket makes it an easier target for thieves. Carrying a debit card means your money sits behind a PIN code that only you know.

You can find more useful information about different types of bank accounts, including Post Office accounts on the Citizens Advice website here.

Fee-free basic bank accounts
Fee-free basic bank accounts were launched in January 2016 and allow you to receive money and pay bills. They are designed for people who:

•Don’t already have a bank account and are ineligible for a standard current account, or
•Can’t use their current bank account due to financial difficulties

If you don’t have access to a standard bank account, a fee-free basic bank account can make it much easier to manage your money. These accounts don’t have an overdraft facility, so you won’t be able to get into debt by spending more than you have. Click here for more information.

Please click on the side tabs for the Money Advice Service videos about bank accounts.

Credit Unions - an alternative to banks

A credit union is a community savings & loans provider. Click here for more information 

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