How to open a basic bank account

Basic bank accounts are available from most high street banks and building societies. To open a basic bank account you will need to provide proof of you identity and address.

When opening your account, remember to stress that you want to open a basic bank account. Do not be pressured into opening another account, which is unsuitable and may lead to future problems such as overdrafts.

If you receive (or have just made a new claim for) Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance and need help to open an account, phone us on 0161 912 3302. One of our advisors will make an appointment to see you.

Why do I need to open a Basic Bank Account?

You will need to open a bank account to receive payments of state benefits. If you rent your property from a private landlord and claim Local Housing Allowance (LHA), you will also need to open a bank account to receive payments. LHA is paid to tenants and not landlords.

Six good reasons to open an account:

  • BACS payments are quick and secure
  • It costs less than producing a cheque; helping to keep the Council Tax low
  • You have the money available to you on the day it arrives in your account
  • You still get paid on time if there is a postal delay
  • You can access your money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • You will not have to wait for your cheque to clear (This can take up to 5 working days).

You can enjoy these benefits too. Even if you cannot open a Current Account you may be able to open a basic bank account.

Basic Bank Accounts services

They offer:

  • Free Automated transactions (e.g. Direct Debits and Standing Orders).
  • A cash card for use at cash machines
  • Phone Banking.

If someone else collects your Benefit

If you cannot get out to collect your Benefits or Pension you can give your permission for someone you trust to do this. Speak to your bank or building society for more details. If you receive Local Housing Allowance or Housing Benefit into your bank account we recommend that you set up a standing order. This way your rent will be paid on time, every time.

Using the Post Office

You can do your banking at the Post Office. Find out what accounts are available by visiting the Post Office website.

How do I get my Benefits paid into my Bank Account?

To have your Housing Benefit paid into your bank account you can:

  • Complete a BACS Payment Form.
  • Phone us on 0161 912 2220.

If you are making a new claim, then simply fill in your bank details on your claim form.