If you have a current account with Secure Trust, you should have been told that it is withdrawing its current account facilities and you need to close your account. For many people this may sound like hassle they don’t need, so why is this happening? And what are your good banking options now?
Accounts used by many people in IVAs and DMPs
In bankruptcy your existing current account is usually closed. In IVAs or DMPs, if any of your debts are owed to the bank your current account is with, it’s a good idea to switch banks because otherwise the bank may “exercise its right of set of” and take money out of your current account.
But in these situations, your credit rating is usually poor or dreadful and you will probably be turned down for a new current account with a bank you don’t owe money to. Secure Trust launched their current accounts six years ago specifically to meet the needs of this type of customer. Many IVA and DMP firms have recommended them to their clients as a result.
The new style basic bank accounts
In January 2016, nine major banks introduced new Basic Bank Accounts or revamped their old ones:
- you can open these accounts if you have a poor credit record, for example if you are in an IVA or a DMP;
- the new accounts have no monthly fee;
- you won’t be charged a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account to pay a Direct Debt or Standing Order;
- you will be able to have a debit card.
In the past, basic bank accounts were very much second-class products even if you could open one, but now most of them are pretty good! Because these new accounts are so much better than they used to be, Secure Trust have reviewed their accounts and decided to withdraw them:
“As a responsible business committed to providing simple banking solutions which our customers can trust, we felt duty bound to review the suitability of our Current Account product in light of these changes and have concluded that it is no longer value-for-money for our customers.”
What you need to do now
Secure Trust is offering a small incentive of £25 if you close your account with them before 13 July.
You need to choose who to switch your banking to. The nine banks with links to their accounts are listed here. My top pick is the Nationwide account – this has a contactless debit card, full mobile and online banking and you can open it online. But if you don’t have a branch near you, or you owe money to them, there will be another one that suits you.
Switching banks has got a lot easier than it used to be. It’s also a good opportunity to do a bit of “housekeeping”, deciding whether you really need all those Direct Debits and Standing Orders!