Financial Products

Financial Products


We have ongoing dialogue with a number of financial institutions about our work and about the products and services they offer. We speak to banks, credit unions, community finance organisations, insurance companies, and financial technology companies.

We are, for example:

  • working with companies to put free of charge, a budgeting app on peoples mobile phones to help them track their spending.
  • We are talking to insurance companies about how we can highlight the costs and benefits of affordable home contents insurance and life insurance.
  • We are meeting credit unions across the city to understand their products and accounts and be in a position to tell people about these.

Bank accounts

We are specifically checking whether people have access to a bank account that works for them. Having a bank account means being included within the financial mainstream; it is considered beneficial for individuals as it means:

  • a safe place to keep money;
  • access to employment that requires wages paid direct to an account;
  • stopping cheque cashing shops taking a cut from a cheque just because no account is held;
  • financial savings and benefits from the discounts offered by direct debit payments and other transactional channels;
  • the financial convenience of paying by standing order; or
  • assistance with financial budgeting; and
  • the potential removal of impulsive spending temptations;
  • the building of a credit score; which can
  • extend access to other financial products including insurance, saving accounts and cheaper credit.

We work with Scotcash, credit unions and some banks to assist people to open a bank account or appropriate credit union account where this is needed. We know the identification and address verification that people need to open an account and we have information and leaflets on all the bank’s basic bank accounts and their opening process. In most cases we ought to be able to help people open an account and then work with people to understand the benefits, and drawbacks of direct debits, standing orders and using their account to best effect.

Banks differ in the identification (ID) and address verification (AV) that they need, but it will include two of the following documents to prove who you are, and where you live:

Passport • Driving Licence • DWP benefit entitlement letter • Utility bill • NHS Medical Card (under 20 years old) • Private tenancy agreement • Council rent card • Council tenancy agreement • Credit card statement • Credit card • Housing benefit entitlement letter • Council tax bill • HMRC (Inland Revenue) letter • Disabled drivers pass • EU Member ID card • Letter from person of responsibility (doctor, policeman, etc) • Letter from existing account holder • Letter from employer • Firearms certificate • Construction industry scheme card • Residence permit • Local Education Authority award letter (students only) • National Insurance Number Card with P45/60 • Birth certificate • Student Loans Letter • Student Identification • Armed forces identification card • Home Office letter • Pensioners’ travel pass • Motor or Home insurance certificate • Vehicle registration document • Television licence renewal notice.

Universal Credit and welfare reform:


Universal Credit is the new way that the government will pay benefits. The UK government began to introduce Universal Credit in 2013 bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single payment. It is being introduced gradually and has started to be introduced with some claimants in Glasgow. Universal Credit will replace:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

The aim of Universal Credit is to:

  • encourage people on benefits to start paid work or increase their hours by making sure work pays
  • make it easier for people to manage the move into work
  • simplify the system, making it easier for people to understand, and easier and cheaper for the government to administer
  • reduce the number of people who are in work but still living in poverty
  • reduce fraud and error

There are many views on Universal Credit, here’s a few:

Universal credit can appear pretty complex and complicated, our FCOs can talk through some of the basics with individuals and highlight some of the key aspects around claiming and organising the household budget, as one of the biggest changes will affect how people budget their money, having to shift from weekly or fortnightly to monthly in arrears.

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