What is Research and Campaigns?
Citizens Advice both locally and nationally uses clients’ problems as evidence to influence policy makers to review laws or administrative practices which cause undue difficulties to clients.
At a Local level Citizens Advice engages with local MPs and our local authority to highlight issues which our clients bring forward. Whilst at a national level Citizens Advice engages in policy research in order to recommend policy changes.
Martin Lewis- The Digital World and Me
Citizens Advice Calderdale want to encourage our older residents to engage with the digital resources available locally. We see this participation as something that could potentially enhance their lives both socially, through increasing social engagement using Skype and Facebook and also financially through savings gained using comparison websites and Freecycle.
View the Digital World and Me presentation to see our local research.
Basic Bank Accounts
Citizens Advice Calderdale has recently participated in a national survey of bank branches trying to find out if they are promoting Basic Bank Accounts.
Our latest research is a joint piece with Citizens Advice branches across the nation. Check this link for further information; http://bit.ly/2ekEeDB
Why research basic bank accounts?
Banking is important in today’s financially complex society. To get the best out of the digital world i.e. buying goods and services on line, people need to have a bank account. Managing your money on a day to day basis is made easier by budgeting for priority bills using direct debits and standing orders.
In 2009 Price, Waterhouse and Coopers assessed that households that were offline are missing out on an estimated £560 per year from not shopping and paying bills online. This lack of a basic banking facility particularly affects people who find it difficult to manage their money, are in debt or who have un-discharged bankruptcies.
What is the UK government doing to help promote banking for all?
With a significant proportion of the UK population still unbanked in 2000 the UK government worked with the banks to develop new simple accounts to increase financial inclusion.
What were the results of our local research?
Our own local survey parallel the national research showed that the most transparent and pro-active of the financial institutions providing accounts is the Nationwide Building Society where any customer with the correct ID can have access to a basic bank account.
Whereas the bank at the bottom of the basic banking provision list both locally and nationally is NatWest, who did not openly advertise their basic account and were often unsure about offering accounts to people made bankrupt.
Banks need to improve their training on basic bank accounts and need to review their procedures for eligibility for basic bank accounts allowing greater flexibility.