Make opening a bank account accessible for those with no official forms of ID

Make opening a bank account accessible for those with no official forms of ID

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Sarah Taylor started this petition to The FCA and

Help to make opening a bank account more accessible for those with no official forms of ID.

I work for a charity currently supporting the most vulnerable people in our society, particularly those who are struggling with homelessness. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been carrying out quite intense support work with our clients. Several have asked for our support with opening a bank account and many have struggled due to several barriers preventing them from opening one. Some of our clients have been homeless for extended periods of time and have either felt like they haven't needed an account, or have had their benefits paid into someone else's bank account (which can make people more vulnerable to financial exploitation). Therefore, many have no forms of ID which are 'official' or 'suitable' for opening an account. 

Many banks would say they are being more inclusive, but the truth is, when on the frontline supporting vulnerable people in trying to open a simple bank account, we have felt as though we are hitting brick wall after brick wall.

The criteria should be widened to include those who are so very often excluded. More forms of ID and proof of address should be incorporated in the criteria, for example:

  • licence agreements for temporary accommodation should be accepted as proof of address
  • proof of ID should be able to be verified from numerous support services such as charities 
  • make proof of ID letters from doctors free as people are expected to pay at least £10 (this is difficult when they don't have a bank account or any income/benefits)

Services which are supposed to be there to help the most vulnerable in society, are, in fact, hindering them from attempting to better their lives and end the cycle of homelessness, deprivation and oppression. By making those who are already on the margins of society jump through several unrealistic and impossible hoops, many begin to think, 'what is the point in all of this?' and, as one person has said to me recently, instead, devastatingly think that rough sleeping is the easier option.

I don't want to live in a society where services which should be there to help (rather than hinder people) are so hard to access, that people decide to, or are forced to, continue rough sleeping due the difficulty of navigating services and accessing simple things like a bank account.

Please sign the petition to help end this exclusion. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!