First time bank account for pensioner

My mum has never had a bank account, ever.   She is 78 and normally draws her state pension from the post office but they are ceasing the service and she’s been told she needs to get a bank account for her state pension to be paid in to.

My question is, do banks open up accounts for little old ladies whose only income is her state pension? If any one knows of any banks that are happy to do this could you tell me which they are please? 

Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,031
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    Subject to having the right identification, any bank should be more than willing to do this. If done online or by phone, most banks should be able to make the checks they need to via the electoral roll, however others may require proof of address, which can be done via a benefit letter, and proof of identity, which can be done via a driving license or passport.

    If she doesn't have these, it is worth enquiring at several banks as there is some flexibility as long as they are happy that she is who she says she is.
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  • Karriebea
    Karriebea Posts: 9
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    Thank you so much.   I’ve been worried as I’ve just opened up a new bank account for myself and all the application questions were geared about my income and work place etc and I was worried as my mum did not work or had a working income they would reject her.

    Thanks again, I’ll now look into it. 
  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,031
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    It may be worth looking to basic accounts, which will be geared more to identity checks than credit, but I don't believe it'll be a problem.

    My comment isn't made directly in the context of OAPs, but more generally. She doesn't need something with bells and whistles, just something to make payments to and from, so I'd get her to make this clear at the outset.
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  • Thank you.

    I’ll be applying for her as she would not know where to start, but yes I agree a straight forward basic account is all that’s required.
  • EarthBoy
    EarthBoy Posts: 3,023
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    What would your mother prefer to do if she ever had any queries? If she'd prefer to speak to someone in person, then choose whichever bank has the most convenient branch nearby. 
    If she'd prefer to do it over the phone, then I'd say that First Direct cannot be bettered. If she could manage internet or mobile banking, then any bank would do, -why not recommended your own bank to her? 
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,616
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    Do you have Power of Attorney (POA) for your mum? If you had a POA, you couldn't open an account on her behalf, but the bank should allow you to manage the account (as long as your mum agrees). May save complications and stress down the line.
  • BigBlueSky
    BigBlueSky Posts: 610
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    I did this for my grandmother.  In the end went for the Santander Basic account.

    They issue a 'Cashcard' and a Visa Top-up card.  She can use it at the post office counter in the same way as she used her old Post Office Card account card, so apart from it looking different it works the same way for her so she doesn't have to do anything different.
  • colsten
    colsten Posts: 17,597
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    Karriebea said:
    Thank you so much.   I’ve been worried as I’ve just opened up a new bank account for myself and all the application questions were geared about my income and work place etc and I was worried as my mum did not work or had a working income they would reject her.

    Thanks again, I’ll now look into it. 
    She just gives her pension as her income, and “Retired” as her profession. If she is not on the Electoral Register, she should quickly register (can be done online). I assume she has utility bills or a letter from the DWP to prove her address. If she doesn’t have a passport or driving licence, banks will accept alternative documents for proof of ID. You can check on bank websites what they accept. She may have to personally go into a branch to open her account. Nationwide and Halifax strike me as particularly suitable for pensioners though all High Street banks should do.  Halifax specify on their website what 3rd party access is possible - this could be useful for you whether you already have POA or not (you should have it)

    As already mentioned, the Post Office offers banking services for most banks, so your mum can continue to withdraw money at het usual PO.
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