TSB extends banking scheme for people experiencing homelessness

TSB has extended its pilot scheme that offers bank accounts to homeless people.

The programme, which may be implemented elsewhere in the UK, has been extended to the end of this year.

TSB has been working with charity Simon Community Scotland, at branches in Hanover Street, Edinburgh, and St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

People experiencing homelessness are helped to set up accounts and given budgeting advice.

The programme allows people supported by Simon Community Scotland to complete a special process to open an account with a debit card. Online access is an option and TSB staff are trained to advise them.

TSB said it will use the results of the pilot to judge how it can further help homeless customers and look at ways to run the scheme in other parts of the country.

Carol Anderson, UK director of branch banking at TSB, said: “We know that access to a bank account is a particular challenge for those who are homeless and don’t have a fixed address, yet it’s such an important step in helping them progress and have confidence in managing their money.

“We’re grateful to the Simon Community for partnering with us so we can provide more people with the security of banking services, which they can access digitally or in a branch.”

Lorraine McGrath, chief executive of Simon Community Scotland, asked: “Can you imagine the added challenges of being homeless without having a bank account?

“It offers security and the ability to fully self-manage their finances as a key part of finding and keeping a safe place to live and call home.”

Michael Barclay, who opened a TSB bank account through the pilot partnership, said: “Not getting a bank account was one of my main blockers. I didn’t have the right ID, the right this, the right that. The team came with me to TSB to help me set things up.
“Before I had a bank account, I would get a code sent to my phone and I would have to take that to the Co-op to get my benefit money. I feel safer and more secure having a bank account. When I get a job - I’d like to be a bricklayer or a plumber - it will be a huge help.”

Speaking about the Glasgow Access Hub, he added: “There are people who will help you with everything you need help with and there are different spaces to go to in the Hub for a chat. The support has been phenomenal, the staff have been so supportive. I come in all the time. I praise this place. Honestly, if this wasn’t here, I don’t know where I’d be.”

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