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Bank Accounts

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of adults in (a) Beverley and Holderness and (b) the East Riding of Yorkshire who do not have access to a bank account are over the age of 65; and if he will make a statement. (86333)

The most recent data available that allow assessment to be made of the number of households with no access to a bank account are to be found in the Family Resources Survey from 2002-03. This indicates that 8 per cent. of households in the United Kingdom had no bank account of any kind. This equated to 1.9 million households containing around 2.8 million adults. The data are broken down to Government office regional level. This shows 9 per cent. of households in Yorkshire and the Humber were unbanked. The data can also be broken down by the age of the household reference person (the owner of the household or the one with the highest income). This shows that 27 per cent. of unbanked households had a household reference person over the age of 65.

In December 2004, the Government and the banks agreed to work together towards the goal of halving the number of adults in households with no access to a bank account of any kind and of making significant progress within two years. The Financial Inclusion Taskforce has been asked to monitor progress. The taskforce recently made its first annual report, which concluded that steady progress has been made towards the goal but also encouraged banks to continue to address the difficulties faced in opening a bank account.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of people living in Scotland had a bank account in each of the last five years; what steps he is taking to increase the number of people with bank accounts; and if he will make a statement. (86408)

The most recent data available that allows assessment to be made of the number of households with no access to a bank account are to be found in the Family Resources Survey from 2002-03. This indicates that 8 per cent. of households in the United Kingdom had no bank account of any kind. This equated to 1.9 million households containing around 2.8 million adults. The data are broken down to Government office regional level. This shows 8 per cent. of households in Scotland were unbanked. The figures for previous years are: 2001-02—9 per cent.; 2000-01—14 per cent.; 1999-2000—13 per cent.; 1998-99—14 per cent.

In December 2004, the Government and the banks agreed to work together towards the goal of halving the number of adults in households with no access to a bank account of any kind and of making significant progress within two years. The Financial Inclusion Taskforce has been asked to monitor progress. The taskforce recently made its first annual report, which concluded that steady progress has been made towards the goal but also encouraged banks to continue to address the difficulties faced in opening a bank account.