We set out key insights from our work on the provision of payment accounts to personal customers and businesses. We also outline next steps.
Why we carried out this work
Bank and other payment accounts are a necessary part of daily life for individuals and businesses, allowing them to make and receive payments. The UK is one of several countries where there are concerns about the scale of account closures and access to financial services. Most recently, this has centred on whether account providers have closed customers’ accounts because of their lawfully-expressed political views or beliefs.
To better understand the scale and reasons for any account closures, we collected data from 34 firms. This report sets out what the data has told us so far and what follow up action we plan.
Alongside this report, we carried out a review of how other jurisdictions have approached the issue of de-risking in the financial system. Our research paper explains concerns about account closures or the difficulty some customer groups have in opening accounts is not unique to the UK.
We also publish our letter to the Chancellor from the FCA’s CEO which accompanies this report.
There are areas that we will follow up to better understand the data firms have provided, and the impact of account access and closures on consumers. Our report also draws out actions for firms in the context of the Consumer Duty, and matters for the Government to consider as part of any steps to widen access.