Co-op caves in to pressure from banking's "un-level playing field".
Hole in the wall. Photograph: Getty Images.
People who are "undischarged bankrupts" can still open basic accounts, but they now no longer have a choice of bank.
The Co-op is scrapping the service, saying that it costs too much, which leaves Barclays as the only bank still offering current accounts to those waiting for borrowing restrictions to be lifted.
Undischarged bankrupts often wait a year for their borrowing rights to be renewed, but the level of demand for these basic accounts seems to be part of the problem. Head of banking Robin Taylor told The Sun that the Co-op had suffered from too high a volume of bankrupt people looking for the service, which left them unable to continue it. John Hughes, managing director of retail banking at the Co-op, called for this inequality across the banking sector to be adressed. He told the BBC:
Across the industry there has long been an un-level playing field in the provision of basic bank accounts, with our bank doing far more than most, and we have been calling for some time for this to be addressed.
Unfortunately it has now come to the stage where our disproportionate market share of the basic bank account market has continued to grow significantly, and regretfully, we now need to take steps to address this.