I've recently reloacated to UK and opened a bank account to deposit my paychecks. As I didn't have a credit history, the bank allowed me to open a (what they call) "cash account".

Now, given that I have funds in it, it appears that I cannot transfer those funds to another account via bank transfer (my wife has account in the same bank) as cash accounts have this kind of limitation.

Now, as they claim that all the banks in UK do this for accounts without a credit history, is it true? Why?

  • 1
    If it's another account in the same bank, it doesn't need to be a wire transfer. You should just be able to do a normal transfer, or even withdraw and redeposit as a last resort. You will, of course, have to wait until the check has completely cleared the bank's processing.
    – keshlam
    May 5, 2016 at 9:14
  • You can always try to go to another bank and open an account there.
    – SMeznaric
    May 5, 2016 at 11:40
  • @SMeznaric - but. If he understood the bank correctly, the regulations prohibit this. May 5, 2016 at 15:24
  • Does your employer not do a monthly transfer to the account?
    – Pepone
    May 5, 2016 at 22:05
  • 5
    Note to everyone who doesn't believe that this might be a real problem: here we are talking about a 'basic bank account' (background) which is a product banks only offer because the government made them - the banks would much rather not have such customers. The list of things you can definitely do with a basic bank account is here, and standard transfers are not on the list.
    – AakashM
    May 6, 2016 at 7:53

2 Answers 2


All major banks in the UK offer "cash accounts / basic accounts", this is to help people in a similar situation to you who either don't have any credit history or have a negative one but still allow them to bank convieniently thus avoiding financial exclusion in an ever-growing cashless society. Cash accounts are a good place to start and if you manage your account responsible (e.g do not go into an unplanned overdraft, consistently have wages paid in, maintain a balance through out the month (don't drop straight to £0)) after 3-6 months you will be eligible for other types of accounts which may offer benefits such as interest or insurances.

Cash accounts generally work the same as new accounts e.g. Allowing money to be paid in via employer, bills to be set up via direct debit, online/telephone payments/banking and lastly electronic money transfers. The main difference between cash and regular accounts being cash accounts do not have access to any borrowing facilities e.g overdraft or even cheque book.

Depending on the bank some place markers on new accounts prohibiting certain actions until they can see some form of banking behaviour e.g prohibiting electronic transfers or online payments. This is normal rectifiable by a quick visit to your local branch.

There should be no problem with your account it's just the bank being weary but a quick visit to your local branch can't hurt.


Why are you trying to send a wire transfer? Why not just a UK bank transfer.. you can send them just using the sort code and account number, I don't believe your bank would be allowed to block you from that, and it wouldn't make sense to as you need it to pay bills.


They are correct, it just seems they have been given a particularly poor offering by a bank. To anyone else in this situation, find another bank which offers any sort of basic bank account without an overdraft, and you will be quite likely to be offered an account.

If you can't get a new account, withdraw cash and deposit it wherever you need to transfer funds.

  • +1 for offering the logical work around. Still the question asks if what the bank told him is true (or if he understood correctly) . As a US person I'm curious if UK banks have such rules. May 5, 2016 at 14:27
  • Sorry, this is my stupid english. I cannot do any form of Bank transfer according to them I can only withdraw money,AND this is true for any account open without Credit history in every Bank May 5, 2016 at 16:15
  • I'm Pretty sure that if I name the Bank some diligent moderator will close the post. Sorry. Anyway, it's near the Metro station May 6, 2016 at 11:01
  • 6
    @PieroNadello - if naming the bank will help get you the answer, please do so. You are right, typically a rant about a named company gets closed or redacted. In this case, it may just help answer your question. We can edit it back out after, if we need to. May 6, 2016 at 12:18
  • How times have changed. 15 years ago I walked into a bank with someone from another country, with no form of UK ID, no proof of address, no credit history obviously, and they were able to open a full and complete, unrestricted bank account, because I told the bank (who knew me because I banked there) it's all fine. The bank drafted and printed a short letter on the spot, which I signed, saying to the effect "yes, this person is this person", and bingo, no more problem. Bet that wouldn't work now.
    – Michael
    May 7, 2016 at 10:03

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