Fee-free bank accounts

Fee-free bank accounts let you:

  • pay in money 
  • set up Direct Debits or standing orders - to pay regular bills
  • use a debit card in shops and online
  • withdraw cash from the bank or cash machines
  • check your account balance at bank, cash machine or online

Fee-free bank accounts will not let you use an overdraft

Opening a fee-free bank account

You can apply online, in person or by phone.

Make sure you make it clear you want to open a fee-free basic bank account. 

You will need proof of identity and address.

Suitable proofs of identify

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit award letter (dated in the last 12 months)
  • HMRC tax notification or assessment letter (dated in the last 12 months)
  • current EU member state identity card

Suitable proofs of address

  • utility bills (dated in the last 3 months)
  • Council Tax bill (covering the current financial year)
  • UK bank/credit card statement
  • tenancy agreement
  • catalogue or mail order statement
  • UK photocard driving licence
  • motor or home insurance certificate (dated in the last 12 months)

Different banks have different conditions - if one won't help you, try another.

Banks required to offer fee-free accounts

The nine largest banks have to offer fee-free accounts. Other banks my offer the service, but they do not have to follow the same regulations.

BankAccountOnline/phone bankingDirect Debits/standing ordersWithdrawals from UK cash machines (ATMs)

Barclays
0345 600 4545

Basic current accountYesYesYes
HSBC
0345 604 0626
Basic bank accountYesYesYes
Nationwide
0800 30 2010 - option 3
FlexBasicYesYesNationwide ATMs
*NatWest
0345 788 8444
Foundation AccountYesYesYes
Royal Bank of Scotland
0345 835 4484
Basic AccountYesYesYes
Santander
0800 068 6069
Basic current accountYesYesYes (restrictions may apply)
The Co-operative Bank
0345 721 2212
CashminderYesYesYes
TSB
0345 835 3863
Cash accountYesYesLink or Visa ATMs only
*Halifax
0345 720 3040
Basic accountYesYesYes
*Lloyds
0845 300 0000
Basic accountYesYesYes

*You will need to apply for another account and be rejected to be allowed to open the non-fee charging basic bank account.

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