Basic Bank accounts provide you with a secure place to keep your money, just without the credit facilities and payment options that you would expect from a standard current account. A basic bank account is available to anyone over the age of 16 and there is no minimum amount that you need in order to set up an account. If you have been bankrupt or had other serious debt issues recently, you will not be approved for any account where you would have access to credit facilities, and a basic bank account will therefore act as a step towards recovering your credit rating.
You can have your wages and income from other sources such as state benefits or a state pension paid in to the account, and you can pay in cheques for free. You should also be able to withdraw money (up to the balance available in your account) at cash machines or at the post Office. Many basic bank accounts will also let you set up direct debts and standing orders for paying bills, to allow for easier financial management – but make sure you have enough in your account to pay these, or you will be charged a fee. You will not be able to make card payments (except in places that accept Solo, Electron or Maestro cards), have a cheque book or an overdraft facility. However, most basic bank accounts will provide a free 'buffer zone' of £10 so that if you have, say £8 available in your account, you would be able to get money out at a cash machine that only dispenses notes.