- Practical information & advice
- Read personal stories
- Discuss this with others
- Help us with our policy work on this
Practical information & advice
Read our latest information and advice posts about banking
Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to banking.
Most banks now provide basic bank accounts and opening one of these shouldn’t be too difficult providing you have the relevant ID. Useful links include:
As a result of a project run by Unlock several years ago, many prisons have arrangements in place with local banks to open accounts for people in prison. You should speak to the prison resettlement department for further information. Useful links include:
- Basic bank accounts [Web page]
- Identification for opening a bank account [Web page]
- Opening a basic bank account before release [Web page]
- Savings accounts and credit union accounts in prison [Web page]
Nothing happens to your external bank account as a result of being in prison but some court disposals (for example a confiscation order) may have an impact on it or, the fact that there has been no activity. See the link below.
If the fraud is against a financial institution then you may find it difficult to open a High Street bank account as your details will be logged on the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (CIFAS). You may have to consider other alternatives. See the link below.
- Criminal convictions and a history of fraud [Web page]
Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on banking. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.
- Generally, having a conviction shouldn’t cause you problems in getting (or managing) a bank account in the community. The reason behind the work we’ve done in prisons has been to solve some of the related issues that people find difficulties with, primarily providing their identity.
- There can sometimes be difficulties as a result of a record of fraud. Where this is the case, you should already know about it. If you have applied for an account and it has been refused, check your credit rating, and also check whether your details are on the CIFAS database. Ultimately, if this is why you’re being refused, the only real option you’ve got to get some form of transactional account is to get some form of pre-paid account.
Frequently asked questions
Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about banking and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.
Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to banking that we refer to in our information and advice. Contact details for the organisations listed below can be found here.
Read personal stories
The personal story below has been posted on theRecord, our online magazine.
Discuss this with others
Read and share your experiences of this on our online forum.
Key sections include:
- Opening a bank account – Opening an account prior to release from prison and opening a basic bank account
- Applying for a mortgage
Help us with our policy work on this
Read more about the policy work we’re doing on maintaining access to open a bank account before release from prison.