Advice on getting a bank account

Advice on getting a bank account

With the introduction of Universal Credit the government are asking people in receipt of benefits to have them paid in to an appropriate account.

FAQs

By ‘appropriate’ they mean an account that money can be paid in and out, from and to, a variety of sources. Banks, building societies and some credit unions provide appropriate accounts with these facilities.

Bank accounts are a secure and convenient way to ensure your bills are paid on time. You will be able to set up direct debits, have easy access to your money and keep an eye on your income and outgoings.

Universal Credit has started to replace all out of work benefits into one monthly payment, this will need to be paid into a suitable account. So, if you don’t have a bank account, it might be a good idea to get one. Find out more about Universal Credit. 

Identification (ID) to prove who you are:

  • Inland Revenue tax notification
  • Current signed passport
  • Residence permit to EU Nationals along with your own passport
  • Benefit book or original benefit letter from DWP confirming you are entitled to benefits
  • Current UK photo-card driving licence 
  • Current UK paper driving licence
  • Firearms certificate
  • If you’re self-employed in the construction industry, a tax exemption certificate with your photograph on it

Identification (ID) to prove where you live:

  • Local Authority tax bill (Council Tax letter) valid for the year
  • Confirmation you are on the electoral register
  • Rent card or tenancy agreement
  • Benefit book or original benefit letter from DWP confirming you are entitled to benefits
  • Recent utility bill, or certificate from your energy company stating you pay for the services on ‘pre payment’ terms
  • Bank or building society statement or passbook containing your current address
  • Current UK photo-card driving licence or full paper version
  • Most recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender
  • Solicitor’s letter confirming you have recently bought a house, or confirmation from Land Registry

Every bank will have a different set of accounts available to customers, from basic bank accounts which are free, to paid for accounts that may offer additional services or discounts.

It is always advisable to shop around before deciding on an account. The Money Advice Service provides independent information on choosing the right account for you. Click here for more information about the right account for you.

Working in partnership with banks across Sunderland, Gentoo can help make the process of opening an account easier. 

Bank accounts are a secure and convenient way to ensure your bills are paid on time, you will be able to set up Direct Debits/Standing Orders, have easy access to your money and be able to budget more effectively.

We can: 
• Work with partners who can provide impartial advice on setting up   and managing a bank account. 
• Help you to gather the right identification documents.  
• Discuss payment options like Direct Debits and Standing Orders.

To make an appointment or to find out more call the Money Matters Team or speak to your Neighbourhood Coordinator.

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service offers lots of helpful advice around getting a bank account.